Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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“OMG… why can’t I figure this out!?! It should be such a simple decision, but it’s freaking killing me.”

That was me when I started my business. The issue I was wrestling with? Deciding what to name my business.

I couldn’t figure out whether I should name my business something catchy, descriptive, and memorable, or name it after myself.

Sweet mother of cookie dough! I circled around in this creative cul-de-sac for longer than I care to admit.

In my mind, this was BIG — a make-or-break business decision for my new enterprise. Plus, not having a name was holding me back from moving ahead on everything else.

The name of my business would determine what my website’s domain would be, my email, logo, what I’d write on business cards, the legal company name, whether people would remember me, whether they’d take me seriously (or so I thought), and yada, yada, yada.

As a young and totally inexperienced entrepreneur, I investigated this sticky issue from every angle I could think of — for way too long.

If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll wind up somewhere else. - Yogi Berra Click To Tweet

It’s such an easy place to get stuck when you’re starting a business, and I don’t want you to face this same fate. You’ve got work to do and people to serve!

In this quick guide, I’ll explain why I finally chose to name my business after myself (and why that might not be right for you). Plus I’ve got some practical tips for naming your business, so you can… get back to business.

How to Name Your Business — Your Name or Something Else?

When I was starting my new business, this was the big question.

Through research and soul searching, I came up with at least 25 reasons why my own name was the best choice for my business.

Of course, I’d research even more and search the nooks and crannies of my soul to find another 25 reasons why naming my business something catchy and descriptive was definitely better.

The worst part about deciding what to name my business was how deeply I tortured myself, my friends, and the people I love trying to figure it out!

And I’m not alone. This is one of the trickiest questions entrepreneurs face.

In this MarieTV, I answer this popular question from Tamara, who wrote a book for teen girls.

“I don’t know if I should do a website with or [name of the book] I’ve heard you should use your name but I’ve seen both. How do you know when to call your business your name versus a name that describes the business?”

Keep reading below the video for 14 fun exercises you can use today to generate a brilliant business name that hits the hearts and sticks in the minds of your ideal customers.

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Figuring out what to call your business comes down to three things:

  1. Your industry. What’s common among businesses like yours? What will your customers expect and understand?
  2. Your vision. What does this business mean to you? What do you picture when you imagine yourself running the business — today, in a year, in 10 years?
  3. Your long-term game plan. Where will this business go in the future? How can the name grow with it?

Naming Your Business After Yourself

If you’re looking to build your business around being an expert, like an author, speaker, coach, or consultant, and the main commodity is YOU, name your business business after you

If you plan on being around for a long time, you’ll probably launch many new products, write many books, and take several directions in your business. The only thing that’s not going to change about your business is who you are.

When you name your business after yourself, you can launch different brands under your name, but never get stuck with something.

For example, I started my brand Rich, Happy & Hot back in the day, but I was pretty clear I didn’t want to stay with that for my entire career. I named my company Marie Forleo International, and I use my name for my website, so the company can grow and change as I do.

Afraid you won’t be able to scale or sell your business if it’s named after you? If you think you may want to sell your company one day or duck out of the limelight yourself, naming your business after yourself won’t stop you.

Think about Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, or even Orville Redenbacher. They all successfully built and sold name-based empires. There are countless examples of long-standing brands named after their founders.

Don’t want your business brand to be all about you? That’s A-OK. You can still do business under your name, but you may benefit by making up a new one.

Making Up a Business Name

If you’re starting a business that’s based around a product or service, especially if your goal is to sell it someday, you may want to choose a name that’s related to the business. Think Whole Foods or Instagram.

A great business name is memorable, understandable, and communicates the essence of your business in as few words as possible. Does it need to be perfect? Absolutely not. Use these fun naming exercises to get started.

14 Fun Ways to Come up with a Creative Business Name

No idea where to start with naming your business? If you’ve opted out of using your own name, try these exercises to find something unique, descriptive, and creative.

  1. Look for inspiration outside your industry. Understand your competition, but don’t imitate them. When searching for ideas, look beyond your competitors for creative angles from elsewhere. For example, we use medical terms to talk about copywriting throughout The Copy Cure, and the brand naming agency Eat My Words taps into the culinary arts.
  2. Say the name out loud. Even if it looks great on paper, it might not translate easily into speech — and that makes it hard for happy customers to spread the word.
  3. Role play. Get a little kinky, and talk about your business in different characters — like a baby, cowboy, or southern diner waitress. What unique words and phrases spring to mind? Use those as inspiration for generating names.
  4. Tell it like it is. Write or talk about your business, your audience, and the problems you solve using the phrase, “I’m not gonna sugar coat it…” Note the authentic language that comes out.
  5. Explain it to a blockhead. Get really basic. Describe your business as if you were talking to someone who’s just not gettin’ it. Rephrase and further explain as much as you need to get to the simplest words that describe what you do.
  6. Free associate. Write down the words that describe the core of your service and the problem you solve. Then write down any words or phrases that come to mind when you think of those words.
  7. Mix and match. Mash together two or more words that describe your business to create a brand name. Netflix (“internet” and “flicks”) is a popular example of a mash-up name.
  8. Use words from literature or mythology. Can you connect your brand with a character or place? For example, Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, a good fit for an athletic shoe brand.
  9. Use words from a different language. Would the inflection of a foreign language fit your brand’s voice? Borrow words to name your business, like Au Bon Pain, a company with a French name that was founded in Boston. Au Bon Pain translates to “the good bread.”
    Be Aware: Anytime you borrow a word from another language, culture, or religious tradition, be mindful that your choice doesn’t cross the line between appreciation and appropriation. Cultural appropriation is defined as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, or ideas, of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.”
  10. Consider your vision for the company. Even though it’s smart to start with one product or service, naming your business after that one thing could tie your hands. If you imagine growing and expanding in the future, make sure your name can grow with you.
  11. Think about your domain name and social handles — but not too much. If you have a perfect name in mind, and the dot-com domain or the Twitter handle aren’t available, don’t fret. Use something else memorable for now, and you might be able to buy the domain or handle it in the future as you grow.
  12. Google it, and do a trademark search. To avoid confusion, make sure a competitor or similar business isn’t already using your name. You can check for trademarks on your desired name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That’ll help you avoid a lawsuit and name change in the future.
  13. Use a business name generator. For some inspiration, get business name ideas from a generator like Naminum or NameMesh. Name generators can be a fun jumping-off point, but don’t get stuck here. Use your own creativity, smarts, and instinct to make the final call.
  14. Consider SEO. Just like your domain and social handle, you need to think about how your business name works in search engines. But be careful not to lay it on too heavy with the keywords, because Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and you want your business to live on.

These ideas will help you find clarity and direction to choose a name for your business. Once you decide, consult with pros for legal issues like trademarking and registering your company name.

The Small Business Administration also offers some guidance on how to register your business name. If you’ve never registered a business name before, don’t worry! The process varies from country to country and state to state, but every other business owner out there has done it, and so can you.

Let Your Business Name Serve You

Choosing your business name is a lot like getting a tattoo. You can always remove it or change it later, but it might not be worth the hassle. Once you’ve settled on a name, relax and get back to doing the work. Your company’s name *won’t* make or break your business, even if it feels that way sometimes.

How well you’re serving people — not your name — is the most important thing in your business.

Think of all the wildly successful businesses that break common rules: Google uses an obscure word. Flickr uses a hard-to-remember spelling. Amazon doesn’t describe the product or service at all.

Don’t let the details derail your mission.

Remember, to decide what name is best for your business you first need to understand your industry and long-term vision. Be clear about what you want and where you’re going, first. The name will follow.

Most importantly, don’t let yourself get stuck on this step! You have plenty of room for growth and change in the future. For now, pick something good enough, and focus on your work.

Now, let’s turn this insight into action.

Grab a notebook, and brainstorm what to name your business in two steps:

  1. Make a list of words associated with your product or service — a thesaurus or OneLook Dictionary will come in handy. Think about the objects, feelings, and ideas people associate with what you do. Use the exercises above to reach deep!
  2. Then, use those words and the ideas they spark, and write down at least 20 potential business names. Push yourself to get to 20, even if you start getting silly — let’s be real, especially if you start getting silly! Push your creative muscles to get to something that speaks to your soul.

I know, it might never feel perfect. But that’s okay. Starting and succeeding in business is about progress, not perfection. Let customers come to love your business name because of the wonderful spirit and service it represents. That’s how you’ll know it’s juuust right.

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  1. Such a good question!
    Be fearless in terms of your intuition about what to go with!
    Besides, it’s totally possible to register and use several names – and refer one site to the other 🙂

    • LOVE this! As usual, totally hit the nail on the head. And, Robin – the intuition piece is so, so big. When I started my event planning business, Blue Goose Celebrations, I set it up 100% so that it could be sold – even using a Google Voice as my business number so that it could go with someone who bought it! But, now that I’ve finally “come home” to business & lifestyle coaching I want it to be part me and part team long-term. So the website & name are, with pointing there because I know down the road that will matter, too! Thanks for breaking it down so easy, Marie!
      xo Jennifer

      • Annette

        Hey Jennifer that is really insightful, thanks! I never thought about it that way. Solves my dilemma!

    • So true Robin! I have 5+ names pointing to the same site (including my own name).

      Naming my business was real easy when I first started my business because I didn’t even have enough money to file for a DBA (doing business as) so I had no choice but to stick my own name in the title which requires no formal documentation.

      So my name is Summer Alexander and I own a market research company – and ta dah! My business name is Summer Alexander Research! Don’t know if it’s genius or crazy but it works for me lol! =)

      • Gillian Culff

        Summer, you are blessed to have a name that makes a great business name! Mine is hard to spell and probably also to remember, so I’m having a hard time deciding what to do. I think I would like to use both my name and a business name, but I have yet to think of one.

      • Rosemary DeLeon

        Yes, as soon as I read your name….it just rings like a business name. I don’t like mine because Rose is so common and Rosemary sounds older (no offense to anyone) than my last name is Romero. I would prefer to use my maiden name over my married name of DeLeon which I still carry but if I marry one day and have my ex husbands last name on as my thriving (LOL) business name, well I wouldn’t like it, so I have to go with the maiden name, Romero. I am still thinking about it. I am starting a Bookkeeping & Tax Services business. The torture continues LOL.

        • Katherine Radakovich

          Rose! I personally think that Rose Romero is a lovely name. Whether for a business or you. I honestly love it. I’ve been struggling with this too. I know I’ll change my offering down the line. I’m a registered dietitian and nurse practitioner. I’d like to to online group courses for women’s health concerns. But I’d like the flexibility to be fairly broad down the line. And my name is really long Katherine Radakovich. I’m really having trouble coming up with a name that embodies women’s wellness, nutrition, etc.

    • I like what you said Robin. I went with my intuition, more like a gut feeling when it came to naming my business which focuses on capturing life’s blissful moments. So i called it LivingUrBliss. I figured that it was a great name and my empire : ) could still grow under this umbrella. Thank you for tackling this question Marie.

    • Great advice, Marie. Just some elementary tips from my own mistakes and experience.~ Just because the domain is available, doesn’t mean the name isn’t being used for a Vacuum cleaner, car, as part of a blog, or a transsexual anime character~ LOL. I would avoid hyphens, being part of another domain, such as your name dot blogspot, dot wordpress, dot whatever dot com. dot com is better than dot net. Short and sweet gets the treat.
      As Marie pointed out, if you are making your own creations and selling them, such as art, or jewelry, or are a life, or business coach, or trainer it is probably wise to use your own name.
      Of course, would anyone Eric Schmidt something? There are a vast array of successful sites with stupid names. Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo! Good Grief!
      I think listening to your inner voice is good advice, as Robin pointed out.~ “Be fearless in terms of your intuition about what to go with!”
      I know it doesn’t carry any weight, but, I like the name, Tamara. 😉

      • MBA

        Absolutely agree with your comment except for the hyphen part. There are some one word names which have the hyphen in them as the correct term. That been said, there should be no more than one hyphen.

        • thanks for this…i went with and was worried I may have made a mistake. But too late know….ugh.

    • BEAUTIFUL episode!

      +++vibes from Pareeee, Marie,

      : J

    • Ngoc Khong

      Thank you Robin for your advice!

    • created my logo and business name!

      I am so happy with the logo because it represents exactly what I do and it is beautiful!

      What I mostly love about Namella is that they worked with me and were super duper patient! I had no idea for the logo, neither liked any first suggestions; but they worked with me back and forth to understand my vision and suddenly there it was!!

      They went beyond and even gave me the logo in different colors, as I work with color healing. Thank you Namella!!

      • Ryan

        Thank you Carrie!

    • Teresa Stefanie

      I am from Malaysia. My name is Teresa Stefanie Midi and its too common. My nick name is Sharon. Anyone out there can help me. Thinking of

    • This is what I’ve ended up doing. My official business name is Wild Fox Therapies but I called my blog and my program ‘Ditch the Black Dog’ which I feel is catchier and gets the message across that I free people from the ‘black dog’ of depression. I have both domains that direct to the same site.

  2. I totally had this issue! So much so I completely stressed myself out about the “what do I call my business?!?!” part that I delayed actually STARTING my business. In the end I decided I needed to keep things simple and just START, so I went with my name.

    • Leigh Ann

      I’m in the same position, Ruth. I’ve been struggling to name a new product for MONTHS now. Good on you for just getting down to business and going with your name!

      • It’s such an important part though right? I just decided in the end it wasn’t quite as important as actually puling my finger out and starting my business! Good luck with your name choosing! 😀

        • Jennifer

          So true… actually starting the business is the most importaint part 🙂

      • Maggie

        I am in the same boat right now. It’s holding me back!

        • erica ruth

          I struggled too but I ended up hiring someone to help me. The guys at the branding agency and did a very good job naming my business and creating a logo.

    • Alyssa

      Hi Ruth! I have delayed starting my business (filing an LLC, etc.) because of naming it! I think I’m going to have to go with my name so I can just get the ball rolling!

  3. What a great video! Thanks, Marie. I’ve been struggling with this question, too. You broke down the pros and cons really well. I went with a hybrid for mine: my last name, plus what I do: Waterhouse Online Technical Services.

    • I like that! Sounds confident and powerful. 🙂

  4. Hi Marie,

    Thanks SO much for this video. While I thought up a snappy business name (I think!), now that I am growing my business and (I hope) as a person, I have a desire to simply do more and offer more workshops beyond just raw, and currently my name feels slightly limiting, so I am in the process of buildling a new website and business under my name (to avoid having multiple websites).

    You definitely rock and I simply wait for your videos every Tuesday to make my day – thank you!


    • Also, Marie, I took B-School and went to RHH Live – simplay Ah-mazing for anyone wondering 😉

    • Sarah, I’m in the same boat. I started Nourish Network because I identified my calling as “nourishing people.” And I still love my company … but I, too, feel nowadays like what I have to say spills over outside the food realm. I’ve got a million year old site, and am getting excited about rebranding it–and myself.

      Also seriously considering B-school … so thanks for the plug!

      • Lia,

        Just a thought, here. There are so many more ways to nourish someone than through food. I love the term, “nourish the soul.” Sounds like you already have it handled by going back to “your roots” so to speak, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.


        • Tatiana Golovina

          I love the idea of nourishing, I am starting blog and going to write about nourishing relationship. Good luck with your business Lia!

    • Ahhhhh… I feel your pain.

      Sarah, I LOVE your site. It looks so fresh and lively! But I know what you mean about limiting, and if you use your name it’s not limiting at all.

      I named mine BlogBoldly. I offer free WordPress website setups, and thought once pp had their sites, I would teach them how to blog boldly so they could stand out from the crowd.

      But now, I’ve decided to go all out and do extensive WordPress training.

      So even tho pp will blog (and hopefully boldly) with their WP site, that’s NOT the focus of the site.

      I actually woke up early this morning (it’s now 4:47 a.m. Texas time) thinking about it.

      Do I keep the name BlogBoldly for a WordPress training site??

      Feedback appreciated. ~ darlene 🙂

      • Thank you, Lia!

        Hi Darlene, No lie but this stuff has kept me up some nights too. Thank goodness for this site 🙂

        I think the bigger issue is the idea that Marie mentions about if it’s a business you’d like to potentially one day sell or if you are the focus of the brand. For my transition, I’ve decided to keep up my Oh My Raw site for the distant future but once I feel like I’ve gotten the bulk of my subsribers and business being conducted from my main name site, I’m going to make the official switch. I’m still kind of mulling over the best way to do this too, so anyone else – weight in!

        From an objective perspective BLog Bodly seems like it could be part and parcel of a full wp training, in fact it seems great (I’ll look at your site when I’m at home!) but I don’t see why you just coudln’t re-tweak your niche customer and offer both products them both things (because usually those wanting to set up a site, also need tips on how to blog, no?).

        But my gut is that eventually you’ll probably evolve even more and want a site after your name. Plus, what I figured is that I can have my name and then a subtext, so my name, then my slogan kind of thing.

        I don’t know…interesting stuff…

        Take care,

      • Hey Darlene,

        My thought is that most people setting up a WordPress site – unless they’re solely affiliate marketing would need blogging advice as well. Is there anyway that you could change the description of your site and just add some “setting up WordPress” keywords in there – then maybe do some blogging on the subject yourself to drive traffic there?

        I recently changed site names because I made a bad decision the first time, and even though I’ve directed my old traffic to my new site, the traffic is way down. So I’m not sure it takes any longer to just use SEO to get found for your new thing than it does to start from scratch.

        Just my 2 cents.

      • Shannon

        I say: keep the name! It absolutely goes with a WP training site. In fact, I find it’s quite clever and ear-catching (if that’s even a term). It will make you stand out in a crowd of other WP training sites.

        And, as others have also replied, someone setting up a WP site willowy prob also want some blogging advice!

        • Wow!

          I just noticed all the feedback. Thank you Merry, Shannon and Sarah!

          Yes, I’ve decided ya’ll are right. BlogBoldly definitely works as my peeps transition from figuring out their WP site, to blogging for business.

          I need to lock down the branding.. still sifting thru some ideas.. but I am SO excited. This is turning out to be more fun than I anticipated.

          Thanks for all your support. 🙂

          ~ darlene

  5. Always a fun debate Marie. I tend to agree that using your name can be a good option. I worried about my own business name for quite awhile. I’m happy I decided to go with Fast Fitness to Go though. A lot of people have told me that the name really resonates with them in terms of what they’re looking for (a quick workout that can be done anywhere). Had I used my name, I would have needed to work a bit harder at getting people to really “get” what I do.

    • I love the site name, Shay!

      • Ryan

        Makes good sense!!

    • Joann

      Thanks for sharing. I was thinking the exact same thing Shay. When I was learning the business portion of my health/wellness course, they strongly recommended using my name. I am a Holistic Nutrition/Weight Loss Coach and there is so many people flooding the internet with the latest and greatest weight loss plan that I thought it was important to stand out a bit from the rest. I decided to pick a name that really resonates with me and my philosophy on my approach so I decided to go with Weight Loss With Nutrition. Well, time will tell if it was the right decision.

    • Gloria Mondragon

      Shay, I think you went the best route for you, congrats! It totally works & it makes sense. I am glad. I am toying with the idea of using a condition “placenta previa awareness association” but I also plan on speaking & writing books in the future so I am bummed to say that even though I would have preferred to use my name, it probably wouldn’t work out for the best in this specific case. womp-womp

  6. To me it’s a bit of a no-brainer because I know my business will grow and evolve over the years but I’ll always be at the core of it. So my URL will always be my name, but whatever iteration my business is in at the time will be what’s in the header on my site. For the first 1.5 years my business has been called Reboot, but I’m just about to launch a refreshed site with a totally new name….kind of an evolution on the original idea. But I find that people seek ME out and whatever the name of my business at the time is what will resonate with those right people, At That Time. You know what I mean? I think we stress way too much over this. If you know you’re in it for the long haul (ie; you’ll neva eva go back to a J.O.B.) then always go with you. Your name. You are the core, you are the brand, and the name can be reinvented whenever you need a refresh. Thanks for a great video!

  7. Hi Marie
    Love that dress!!! I always knew I wanted to honor my grandmother who is a big part if my life (although she is not here physically) she is always with me spiritually. Lauren St.Julian my jewelry line is named in honor of her.

    • I love love that! I’m about to switch my website to my name. The thing is my last name is hard to spell… People always leave out the second “I” in poinier. So I wonder if that will mess up the search options or if I should buy all of the misspellings too.

      • Kariana

        Chris Guillebeau ( ) has a horribly difficult last name! I had to look it up and misspelled it anyways. Don’t like that stop you 🙂

        • If you really want to use your name, then yes, buy the misspelled.coms and point them to your website. When someone enters a it will redirect to the correct one. I bought the plural of my business name and .net, .us, etc.

          • Very good advice Laurel.

            In addition to a foreign first name, my last name is also slightly long and difficult (Simeonova). Most Americans seem to love it but I always felt it wasn’t memorable. So while I do own my full name domain name, I have also registered my first name and last initial ( People do remember that one more easily. I also have that on my biz card. This way people don’t need to type the full name to get to my site.

        • Anouk

          Not to me! I’m a French native and for us Guillebeau is easy to pronounce 🙂

      • I can totally relate Jackie! I started out using my name until I realized that it was a fluke if people spelled it correctly. So I switched to Space for Life, but now I’ve noticed that a lot of people are finding my website by googling my name, spelled correctly. It might be time to go back to my name or have some sort of hybrid.

      • Sarah Sloboda

        Hi, Jackie. Using google analytics, I’ve noticed that lots of people end up on my site by simply typing my name, misspelled, into google. Google is super smart now and if people know your name, google can pretty much get them to your site, even with misspellings.

        Also, in terms of SEO, people will more often be searching for your product or service, not necessarily your name, and that’s how they’ll end up on your site. No spelling test required.

      • Jackie, another idea would be to use your first and middle name (assuming your middle name is easy to spell).

        • Claire Markwick

          BINGO! Thank you…why had I not thought of that before?

    • Beautiful! The name and your jewelry! ;))

  8. I named my public relations business The PR Dept., with the intent that (1) it says what I do at a glance; (2) it conveys the idea that each client – regardless of their size or in-house capabilities – has their very own PR Dept.; and (3) it’s memorable.

    • Great name, Tricia. 100% clear and achieves all 3 of those outcomes.

    • Another bonus to a domain name like yours, Tricia, is that you’re likely to come up in a search if someone looks up PR. I think, at least when you’re starting out, that having a site name with a keyword is a great way to get some traffic without having to drive it all there through “elbow grease.”

  9. HA! If I didn’t have a last name that is like 479 letters long, I might have considered it since it could grow and change with me.

    My coach mentioned Practically Intuitive to me and all at once I knew it was PERFECT. (before that I had Into the Mystic, The Healing Change and others that totally sucked).

    Go with whatever feels right even if your last name has eleventy-thousand letters in it. And know that it’s not set in stone – you can change it if you want.

    Thanks for the video, Marie. Happy Tuesday everyone!!

    • Hey Lisa, I think you made a great choice. I love the name “Practically Intuitive!”

    • I agree, the name is perfect – and reflects the balance between the left/right brain, practical/ spiritual, etc… dynamics of what you do. Great website too! Love the crisp, clear style.

    • This is a great point, Lisa -I think it helps to keep in mind that it’s NOT a permanent decision. Another domain names can always be purchased.

      I like Marie’s point about using your name and mine would be a great one – Merry Wise. Nice and simple. But how many different ways can you misspell Merry Wise?

      Also, many times when I introduce myself to people, they think it’s Merry “White.”

  10. I had such a hard time with this one. Took me a while to come up with my name Fit Missy.

    But I looked ahead to where I wanted to go with my biz in the future and I knew I had to create a playful energetic brand which is how i came up with a personification of me.

    Great episode!

  11. Yes! I definitely struggled with this especially when I started health coaching! I ended up sticking to my blog name/brand I’ve build over a few years “Healthy Chicks” because I feel like it’s catchy, quick & in line with my target Market. Plus, there’s so many ways I can grow with it. I agree with the above comments in going with your gut & knowing that even if you make a “mistake”, you can always grow from it. Thanks Marie!

  12. Love this episode, Marie. I also wrestled with the problem of what to name my business. While my ego thought everything should be rubber stamped “Brandy Bell”, I had to take a look at the big picture and remember it’s not FOR me, it’s BY me, for others.

    Using this reminder, I chose the name “It’s One World… TRAVEL” as it encompasses my worldly view (that we all share it together) and it ends with my call to action – TRAVEL!

    I am Brandy Bell, and that will follow me into whatever business I pursue – in fact, the name has stuck with me for 27 years, so that’s branding I never need to worry about 🙂

    Thanks again, Marie for the awesome tips!

    • Wanted to give you some gut level feedback. Brandy Bell is such an awesome name – I love that it’s short, visual and has alliteration. It’s memorable. To be honest… to me, it’s more evocative than the other one you chose… I don’t know what’s right for your business but if I were you, I’d find a way to put your name more “front and center”.

      • Deb M.

        I was going to second that and say I wish I had the name Brandy Bell. It really pops.

      • I third this! Love Brandy Bell! Brandy Bell Travels?

      • L.A.

        Stumbled on this so I dunno how old it is but have you thought of doing a shorter version of your last name? I’ve seen a lot of people do that. Like yours would easily be Ilina Nova which means Star.

    • Maggie

      I love your insight – it’s not for you, it’s by you. This is the route I’m going too!

    • Glad I spotted you here Brandy. Your site it going to come in very handy over the next couple of years as we plan our ‘Grand Adventure’… 🙂
      I love that you’ve incorporated your simple ‘call to action’ in your business name.

  13. This morning a friend asked me about domain naming, and I sent her this link on domain naming ( and then your video came across my email not moments later! It is cooperative components coming together synchronistically! Thanks, Marie, for helping me help my friend! Great advice on going with the constant–which is your name–in most cases (unless you go into witness protection or get divorced/married–who knows! LOL) and then use sub-brands as marketing campaign vehicles or programs or products. Very fitting for today’s info marketers! Thanks.

    • It worked for Martha Stewart – she divorced but kept her name as Stewart – it can all work! ;))

  14. I decided on an umbrella name LLJcreative for my company which includes radio, commercials, motivational speaking, theater, my book and readings…yep, I’m also an Intuitive Medium… so how to separate that? I call that part of my business Intuitive You. After 20 years of not wanting to publicly share that side of myself I put up a Facebook page called Intuitive You (LIKE it if the spirit moves you..LOL). It’s really about bringing intuition out in yourself which in turn can help with your business 🙂 I’m learning to embrace the business side of my brain (not easy). Naming my business was the easiest part of this over 20 year journey. Thank you for this forum to learn, process and grow!

    • Congrats Lisa on putting the intuitive side of you out there. I “liked” your page as support and am a fellow “out of the closet” intuitive 🙂 I also decided on an umbrella name; InnerBusiness but did struggle with deciding. It was easier to spell in the end.

  15. Cheryl W.

    I like your videos. I’m in the process of getting a new website , but my problem is finding an online business that works. I’m tired of watching videos & hearing about other peoples success. Tell me about a business that works & that I can make money from home and now. The ones that I’ve tried did not work & recently was turned out to be a scam. I’m very frustrated at this point and time.

    • Hey Cheryl, it sounds frustrating. You might want to really think about what you’re passionate about. Is there anything that you really LOVE to do that you could share with the world? In order to have a successful business, you have to be passionate about it AND fully committed.

    • Hey Cheryl. I hear your frustrations. I’m interested in learning more about your struggles. Maybe there’s something important happening there that others can benefit from knowing too. Send me an email if you’d like to exchange some thoughts!

    • Cheryl – As a part of B-School last year, Marie sent us this amazing e-book called “Start the Right Business”. It provided me and many many others in a similar situation to really focus in and find the answer that is within. Contact Marie’s Team and they may tell you if it’s available to purchase. (OR sign up for B-School) It’s revolutionary.

      • Louise - Team Forleo

        Thank you so much for sharing the love for START THE RIGHT BUSINESS (it’s a game-changer). Right now it is currently only available as a bonus program for anyone who enrolls in B-School but we do plan on releasing it as an individual program later this year (yay!).

        All the best,

        • Rachel

          Are there any other individual programs you hope to roll out this year and any guesstimate on when ‘Start the right business’ will be out? Just thinking of other options as I don’t currently have the funds to do bschool but am trying to manifest some magic 🙂

        • Ree

          Thank you B-school for mentioning this! I would like to know more about the Individual program ASAP because I too am having a hard time looking for a business to put up… soon within this year.
          Regards to Marie Forleo and the Team

    • Maggie

      I’m with you, Cheryl. I’m trying to begin a business and work from home too. I’m starting to help people launch their businesses on Facebook. Amy Porterfield offers classes to help get started. If this is something that interests you, I’d check her out! Blessings!

    • I hear you, Cheryl. Even if you’re very clear on what you’re passionate about, it can be quite challenging to figure out the best ‘form’ it should take and there is a plethora of information online about ‘how to follow your heart and make money’ (at a cost, of course) – most of which is light on concrete content, leaves out a lot of key details like actual costs of all those ‘recommendations’, just plain misleading or requires an enormous amount of deciphering to determine which bits apply to your business and which ones don’t.

      This is why I keep coming back to Marie – although I haven’t been to ‘B-School’ – because the content is actually valid and practical, not just ‘fluff’. It takes effort, though, to process it and apply it to your own ‘dream’. And sometimes that’s the trickiest part: figuring out your dream…

  16. Fatiha

    Spot on Marie! Are you and I synchronized in any way? Or you are some sort of power troubled mind reader? Ooooh spooky 😉
    This whole naming thing has been slowing me down big time but hey, now I know what to do!

    Merci. Je t’adore!

    With Love from France,

    Fatiha aka Phat 😉

  17. Awesome video Marie, as always! One tip is if you decide not to use your name for your business to go ahead and buy the URL (if it’s available) and then redirect it to your website. That way if someone types in they are taken to your website. And if you ever decide to change to your name, you will already own the url.

    • I second this. Regardless of how you decide to identity yourself and your business, register your name, you business/product name and any variations a user might use to find you. It may seem like an unnecessary cost now but in the long term you’ll be happy you own and control how you appear to search engine users.

      I would also suggest taking the time to register your name and business with the various new social media sites as they pop-up. You never know what’s going to be the next Facebook and you want to get there first.

      This is particularly important for those of us with really common names 🙂

    • Another thing you could do is create a one-page website that serves as a business card – just a little bit of info who you are and what you do, perhaps a photo, a contact form, and links to your social profiles and business website. In addition to giving depth to your brand, that’s also better for SEO in the long run, in case you later on you start using your ‘name’ domain name for other things – but even if not, you become findable more easily in case people google your name and not your biz, so you get to control your brand from multiple channels.

      • Yes! I agree with Ilina. Great idea, especially when you have several quite different businesses/ brands.

      • OMG Ilina! I love this idea. I’m happy with my business name but have recently been thinking whether I should purchase my given name along with my nickname (as I use them both online & in social media). I initially vetoed the idea because I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything with them. However, a virtual business card is an AWESOME idea. This would be an especially useful networking tool, not to mention giving potential clients another “yes I’m a real person” research avenue.

  18. Hey Marie
    thanks for so much practical and useful information on your weekly TV episodes and blogs. I am inspired by your ability to build a great community and give good information.
    My business Vital Switch in New York City facilitates and promotes meditation and self help workshops on the East Coast of North America. It is the name under which myself and my business partner see one-on-one clients, and we also promote other practitioners at times.
    I found the name of the business in 2007 and I really love it. It is catchy, and practical and active. There is a sense that when you work with us something of your vitality will be switched on, which is exactly what we do facilitate. The term Vital Switch also implies awakening – you will wake up those sleeping, dormant, bigger aspects of yourself when you work with us.
    It is actually an engineering term, and I like that because it is not new agey. Also the url was available at the time. We decided to make it a business name because we wanted to have the option to promote other practitioners, and we wanted our work to have a professional brand.
    I also use my own name to promote my own writing through my blog. I have my own brand that I promote for my work as practitioner/coach/healer and also my own writing. This means that the blog has its own audience, yet there is obviously cross over.
    My business partner Matteus Levell then can have his own brand underneath the banner of our business Vital Switch.
    This works really well for us.
    Thanks again for all that you have shared.

    • Samantha – Thanks for sharing insight on how you’re happily implementing both platforms and I love your company’s name & mission!

      I’m in the wee first shuffle steps of my business as a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach. After 2 months of STRUG.GLE. & after reaching out to some amazing babes in the B-School network, I chose Bridge to Bliss. And LOVE it! It’s speaks to me and my ideal client (mom’s impacted by divorce or separation) and is providing a confident platform for this business.
      Do I want to branch out in the speaking, writing and general “guru” arena of this topic, hell yes I do. But I’ll save my name-domain for THAT moment. THIS moment is about establishing, helping, discovery through

    • Love this Samantha, and you!

      Best out there people, if you’re in NYC check her out, seriously.

  19. aaah, such a good question – and answer!
    I have totally been struggling with this for a while. I started my company Showpony designing and making textile based products about 5 years ago (yes I know, nothing to do with horses. I just liked how it sounded and it said a bit about my other passions) But now that I want to expand a little and move into other areas I started a blog under my own name to explore new designs that don’t necessarly fit into the ‘Showpony’ brand. However I’ve not totally figured out where to go from here. Stick with two brands or try and merge them? I think I need to watch this vid again and make some decisions.

    • Lucy

      Just wanted to say Emma – I love your designs!! Fab website too. I’m fairly new to Marie’s site, have you done B-school? Interested to hear if all the tips and wisdom work here in the UK too??

  20. Love that dress Marie! Totally agree with these tips. I launched my site in “beta” if you will using my name as the domain name and then a fun catchy name that speaks to what I do as the header. Its getting confusing though, so will be redoing my site and just stick with my name since I don’t want to limit the future of my offerings to women struggling to brand themselves in different ways.

    PS- anyone know when we can register for B school? I’ve never went but hear good things and wondering if we can bypass the sales video technique and just get to the registration 🙂

    • Louise - Team Forleo

      It’s Louise and I work with Marie. We will be sharing all of the juicy details about the B-School program, and opening up registration, on Wednesday, February 20th.

      Right now we are currently offering some free training videos to really help you gain clarity and kickstart the growth that will occur in the program. We have two great ones available and a killer Behind the Scenes video releasing tomorrow (as well as news about the B-School Scholarship contest- which is seriously one of my favorite things ever!).

      Please feel free to drop us an email at bschool at marieforleo dot com if you have more questions.

      All the best,

  21. I came up with my business name by talking to friends. And also by thinking about what I want to do with my business. As I want to teach English & coach people when they learn English as a 2nd language it had to be something that reflected this. My name is rather long… Jacqueline Lindemulder… So I didn’t immediately want to go with that (difficult to remember, to spell etc.)

    So after some deliberation I hit upon JaLingua. JaLin is obviously part of my name, Lingua means language and learning a language and ‘ja’ in Dutch means ‘yes’. So the name suggests that whoever signs up says ‘yes’ to learning a language, English in this case. Also: the name is much shorter, easier to remember and will fit on a business card 🙂

    Now I just need to work on my website, getting my customer base, earning money…pffff

  22. Naming my business was a no brainer! With a last name of Bliss, I had to use it. It’s perfect for my pearl jewelry. I stamp a tag with Bliss – it’s my name, a state of mind, a goal – all good things.

  23. Using your name could work. You need to consider how easy is it to spell and if the domain name is available.

    • Yes, my name is too common (Erin Flynn) so the only domain available was which people had trouble remembering the hyphen and that it wasn’t a .com… So when I registered my company I used my initials and became EEF LLC, and just do assumed names for each branch of my business and separate websites for each. I do need to go back and register each domain name without the hyphen and start using those though, apparently hyphens confuse people. =\

  24. Great question! I went with because is taken but not being used! 🙁

    A fella purchased the domain for his 11 year old daughter “just in case” she wants to use it later in life.

    No harm, no foul. I’ve been able to brand myself as Rachel Luna from The Tailor Made Life and it’s served me well. Even if they google Rachel Luna, is the first hit, so at the end of the day, nothing has been lost.

    I say do your work under whatever name makes you happy (or as in my case – is available!) and make sure that you are staying relevant so google can find you.

    Bonus tip for parents: buy your kid’s name – you never know if they’ll want to start their own biz. 😉

  25. Leah

    I always knew I wanted to build a business that could survive with or without me and to find a name that felt clever yet broad enough to let me launch multiple programs, products, and mini-brands. And then my fiance came up with the perfect name and I went with it…Skill It. Yay!

  26. I just answered this question for blog post featuring my jewelry business!

    What’s the background behind the name Cloverleaf Creations?

    When I was five, I found a four-leaf clover on the playground at school and my teacher showed me how to preserve it with clear tape. Since then I can look down and see them, without even realizing I’m looking. Our family photo albums are full of clovers!
    After I had kids, we would sit outside on a blanket in our little backyard. It was full of clover and I realized that they smell really nice. I thought to myself, if I ever have a business, I will use the word Cloverleaf.

  27. This was interesting timing. Years ago I started my fitness business and named it WellnessPro Fitness. Then I included the use of my other passion, Ayurveda. I re-named my business WellnessPro Integrated Health. Then I realized that I want to teach other fitness professionals, yoga instructor, and health coaches how to work with their client more effectively and even more individualized, so I founded Wholistic Fitness™.
    And my head started to spin. 🙂

    Now I’ve brought everything I do back together under my own name and domain. I feel more in integrity, it’s simplified, and I still own my brands of Wholistic Fitness™ and WellnessPro.

    So thanks for this video, Marie, it just confirmed that my decision to bring it all together under my own name was the best I could make!

  28. I’d struggled with this one for a while as well. I’ve done both. First my business name, then my own name. (Which I’d originally used as a personal blog.)

    Then two years ago, I had a light bulb moment and came up with the name/inspiration for the direction I wanted my business to go, so I used that and just forward the previous domain names to my main site.

    I/m toying with the idea to set up my url as an type page where it has details about who I am, what I do for my clients and links to where people can find me online (i.e. all my social media sites).

    • ashlee

      I’m struggling with this right now! I would LOVE some feedback! I’ve gone with Ashlee Rene Photography for 12 years. In the last few years every combination of the spelling of my name Ashley Renee, Ashlee Renee, Ashleigh …. You get the idea, have opened up photography businesses (I stopped counting at 8 different new photographer with similar monikers) and there’s a porn site too. People who try to find me through a google search get confused. I’ve avoided my real last name because it a tough one to spell. DePhillippo. I’m thinking about going for it though and break free from the Ashlee Rene crowd that has formed. Kind of scary and I hope peeps can spell it!

      • Ashlee,

        Yes, I just did a search. There are a ton of you out there! 🙂 lol
        What about changing the name of your business to something without your name. That way when people are searching, they won’t get confused with all the other Ashlee Rene’s out there.
        Do you specialize in any one particular field of photography that you could brand yourself around?

        • ashlee

          Thanks Jenn! I meant to leave this as a comment and not a reply, but I’m not sad about it because you’re actually giving me feedback … Thank you!!! I saw that your business is about loving your business again. I’ve essentially torn down my business and I’m now rebuilding it in a way I can love it again. I have several things I’m doing with my photography. Weddings are my first love so there’s photographing weddings. I’m finishing up some resources for brides that I’m looking to launch soon. I also have some art concepts. All of these things can share the same audience, but would have different names. They can each have their own website, but I feel like I should do my name as the Umbrella or glue to all the projects/revenue streams etc. and market myself as the artist and brand. DePhillippo is a tough name, but at least there wouldn’t be 10,000 of them coming up in a google search! 😉 My head does really spin about this. It’s been an issue from my early days when it was just me and the porn star haha! Thanks again!

          • Hi Ashlee – what about going by Ashlee D?

  ,, or ?

            Good luck!

  29. Hi Marie! Love this vid so much. My brand name came to me suddenly and it ignited everything else – the logo, the website, the brand identity, etc. It fit me SO well.(I’d been searching for it for a LONG time.) That said, this is my FIRST iteration, so I will definitely purchase and direct that URL to my current brand. I’m thinking I will be a big presence in my brand and I can always update the URL/brand as I and my business evolve! Thank you so much for this clarity!

  30. Thank you, Marie and team! You solidified an agonizing conundrum for me. As a budding health and wellness coach, I’ve struggled with this, but finally decided to use my name and was glad to get your confirmation in this video. I have a regular day job in digital marketing, and at my current employer there is one other woman with the same first and last name, and several other employees with confusingly similar names. It was a real hit to me because my name is a big part of who I am, but after identifying my name as my business, it is helping me to take it back and own it!

  31. Cathy

    What timing. I am in the middle of monumental shifts in my business. I was up late last night trying to figure this one out – Serendipity… Thank you for this wonderful video. You have kept me from stalling out and encourage me to move forward. Pure Gratitude 🙂

  32. I struggled coming up with a name for a long time! I knew I wanted to create a brand rather than use my name, but could not for the life of me figure it out. I ended up working on some of the marketing materials without the name and designed a pattern that I absolutely fell in love with that I ended up deriving my name from! Hexagon Inc was born and the handmade brooch business was born from that! Such an interesting topic, thanks for the video and conversation starter.

  33. Hey Marie, love this question, ive seen a lot of people struggle with this (including myself). For any of you in the process, I spent months trying to decide on the name for my business and two points that I also considered when picking a name are (1) what’s the whole brand identity (a name is just a piece of the brand so the name doesn’t have to carry the whole load), its good to go through a branding exercise at the same time. And (2) trademarking, a huge advantage of going with your own name is that it’s usually easily “trademarkable”. Once I decided my name wasn’t right for my business I was up against the challenge of finding something that fit the brand and something that I could trademark (that is if your long term plans include needing a trademark). Thanks again marie, love your show!

  34. Totally agree with you Marie. Since I’m a psychotherapist and the commodity of my business, I named my business my name. Thank you for offering these helpful tips every Tuesday, looking forward to next weeks!

  35. I want the option to sell my site, so I created a new name. I was able to sell my first site when the passion ran out and make a bit of money to start my new one–I don’t think I could have done that if I had branded it under my name.

    While brands with names in them do sell, it’s typically because they started a product that was completely outside their personality…aka, Orville Reddenbacher wasn’t famous for his personality but his popcorn. Mrs. Fields wasn’t famous for her personality but her cookies. So, if you have a product based brand, rock on, it mgiht work. However, I don’t think the overhwelming majority of sites with a personality-based brands can be successfully and profitably sold.

  36. Hi, Marie! Thanks for this episode — I needed it!

    You know, I’ve been wondering if I should name my business my name or not. I did get something right though, by naming my workshops after the brand I created, which was a lifestyle brand called the WAHMderful Life. (The WAHMderful Life brand exists to provide workshops and training for women who want to make a living while making a home.)

    Thing is, I’ve wanted to to more things, like:
    1. Teach writing (which I used to do before I became a mom)
    2. Coach moms (which I’ve been doing on the side — still not lucrative)
    3. Offer products (ebooks, online programs, etc.)

    I realize I can do #3 already via my WAHMderful brand, but the first two things are things I can keep on doing til kingdom come. I always knew I wanted to build a business that will empower women and also educate, but I’m still getting comfortable with the idea of naming my business as MY name. Well, I’ve bought “” so I guess I can now decide what to do. (I think I need B-School, stat!)

  37. Hi!
    I’m a new addition to this working world and YES! I struggled a lot to decide how to name my business.
    I thought that if I named it after me it might not be safe because anyone could pinpoint who I was and with all the safety issues going down in Mexico (actually is not as bad as I thought) I was really scared.
    Then I started to think that if “I” was the basic clue in my business why shouldn’t I name it after me?
    After long deliberating and really investigating about the real situation in Mexico I decided to name my business:
    Silvia Guerra Consultoria de Imagen (It’s an Image Consulting Business).

    Have a great day!

  38. What a great topic and a brilliant answer! I struggled with this issue too. I am a Virtual Assistant and therefore have many different services that I offer, so I combined what I do with my name and came up with Virtual Assistant Sharon for my business name. I felt that when people see it, they know what I do and my name. Seemed like the best of both for me.

  39. Hi, Marie – Great explanation! When I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition they encouraged us to us our name. This was a tough one for me because I’m an artist and I like to be different! Plus, I thought it sounded ego-driven. But, I trusted their advice, got over myself and was lucky enough that the domain name was available. Happy I did, because it’s very easy for people to remember and there are still lots of ways to work catchy titles into the picture! 🙂 Thanks!

  40. I am a product based business and changed my business name from my name to “Bella Forte”. It was the best decision I made. Using my name, I think, made it seem like my business was a hobby. But as Bella Forte I can use the word “we” which for a design studio lets potential clients know there’s more then just me here. I have a graphic designer and screen printer on hand but most of the work I do. Also, as I am building my business and hiring I am in a position to sell the business and not leave my name on it.

  41. Mark Laing

    I am starting a relationship improving advice business. I thought of using my name but decided not to because I felt it would take longer for people to catch on to who I am and what I do. Sooooo, I just registered . I thought people who would be looking for my help might google something using the word “relationship”. Later as my business grows I will change it to my name with the tag line “Mucho Amore.” And that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

  42. My story is somehow unsual…

    My California friend Dave had been insisting everytime he came to Barcelona that I needed a website and that he had a server where I could upload it (that was loooong ago). So when I finally figured out how to save Word documents as html files (yes, believe it or not, that’s how I started LOL – but it worked for many years bringing me clients, and now I’ve got a beautiful WordPress site thanks to Marie’s B-School), I had to figure out a name for my site.

    There we were, trying to buy a domain, and all the “good names” such as barcelonaprivatetours, barcelontourguide etc were taken. And finally inspiration came and I said “What about”. He found it weird, but we tried and it was available. And here I am, years later and my clients say the love the name! (me too!)

    • Rachel

      I just love the name as well :), it makes me feel dreamy and I think I’ll google it right now 🙂


      • Rachel

        P;s website is gorgeous! I’m bookmarking the page. I’d loooove to go to Barcelona in the future, best of luck with it all!

  43. When I started my business, I was a graphic designer, so my business name was Amanda Genther Design. Now, one year later, I’ve shifted my business model to focus more on coaching and teaching and my business name is Amanda Genther. I’ve always looked at is by the fact that I want people to recognize my name, because that’s what I wanted to be promoting. I get this question a LOT from my readers, so I’m glad I have something to pass onto them now! Thanks!

  44. Elizabeth

    Hi Marie! Thanks so much for this video. It’s easy to get hung up on the naming of things. I’m an actress and life coach, and because I want these two businesses to have some separation, I am using a different name for my coaching biz. (I pretty much have to go with my name for acting!) Also I am hoping that my coaching biz’s name, Igniting Joy, will stand out in the vast sea of coaches.
    Happy Naming, everyone!

  45. Rose

    Sweet sweet timing Marie… I was getting stuck in the naming as well. But here’s my question for you: what if my full name is complicated (or simply too French!). See, I live in Canada and I’m trying to offer my teachings both in English AND French so I want it to be easy for both to remember my name.

    My solution so far would be to simply drop the last name and stick to ROSE… any thoughts?

    • Paulo

      i am curious on that one too.

    • Wendie Tobin

      Well, what are you known as? Do people know you by your full name? If you haven’t built a reputation yet, you may want to market yourself as a first and middle name, or some variation with an easier spelling. SEO is important.

      • KatrinaMarie


        Hit the spot…struggling with picking just last night because of the issue MY Name or Not.
        So as an Intuitive Career and Relationship Coach using numerolgoy as a jumping off platform for my clients. I ran the numbers for each name.

        Proverbs says :
        A good name is worth more than Silver or Gold…
        We all know that vibrationally..that is why the struggle. We need to resonate with our Name and Work in the world. When we hit that match we know.

        Working on my site now to be ready in time for B-School so I can rock & roll.

        Thank you Ms Marie..

        From Gods mouth to my ears via Marie Forleo :]


  46. So agree your branding is key to everything about your biz. I wanted to use my name as my brand as I am an online marketing consultant, and personally represent my biz, but since I have a fairly common name I decided not to go that route. Another choice is to use an extender or some other play on your name.
    Branding is so important though, and there are, of course, so many other things to consider, as well. If you want to go with a global brand it is worth investigating how a name can be interpreted in other countries-literally and culturally. It’s a good idea to double check how your branded name may translate into Spanish, for example, if you are creating a unique word or hyrbrid of words, and you are going after a Latin market, as well.

  47. Great video!
    I had the issue that my name was already branded nationally as a Christian ministry consultant with 2 family devotional books. I didn’t want to lose that brand because I’m still in ministry or confuse my social media consulting brand as just for faith based groups or businesses. I knew my biz name needed to be tied to my name. I named my business with my middle name & added media to set it apart as a business- Mitzi Jane Media. It works living in the south & embracing my southern roots & (strong) accent to have a more southern brand by using my middle name. After a year, it seems to be working well.

  48. What a great video? I love you for this Marie.

  49. Hi Marie:
    I’m a 2012 B-School graduate and I asked you this very question on a weekly call. Your answer was very helpful then and it is the same answer you are conveying today.
    I have a product-based business, and the majority of what I sell is either cut or engraved with a laser engraver. I’ve done a ton of business on Etsy by engraving and personalizing cutting boards, but my true love is paper arts and I needed a way to distinguish that from the cutting boards.
    So what I ended up doing is creating product lines within Laser Blazed Design. This made so much more sense than

    Thanks so much for all you do. My confidence has soared since B-School!

    • Louise - Team Forleo

      Mary Ellen,
      It’s so great to have you chime in here and we’re THRILLED that your confidence is soaring.

  50. This post brought back fond memories. My business name came about in a funny way. I was going to start writing a book back in 2008 called – Exercising Your Happiness Muscles in the Worlds Biggest Gym. So I bought the domain name: Then in 2010 after not having started on my book for 2 years I did a course run by Brendan Burchard called Experts Academy. It was on the first day of doing this course I decided ‘What the heck!’ I will actually create a personal development business called WorldsBIGGESTGym – based on the idea that the biggest workout actually takes place in our minds.

    So it was pretty random how the name fell into place. And I eventually did go back and finish that book in 2012. But this time it was called The Guidebook to Happiness.

    Thanks for a great post and a chance to relive the ‘fun’ of naming a business.


  51. Mike Watts

    Love the shout out for Orville Redenbacher. He is from my hometown of Valparaiso, IN.

  52. I ll never for get the day I named my business. My friend is a lawyer and was finishing up the paperwork when he asked me, “so what’s your business name”? I just started my basketball company and i was so excited to actually get it up and running. I puffed out my chest and said “next level basketball”. I thought about that name the night before and even started drawing some sketches how the logo should look. After five minutes my friend hit me with a “rocky” type haymaker. He informed me that the name was already being used. What!?!?!? I was in disbelief!! I was angry at whoever it was that decided to have the same ideas that I had. After my mini panic attack he asked me what’s another name I thought of. The problem was there wasn’t one. I had no plan B! It was next level or bust! So i ran to my car picked up my notebook and started brainstorming. After about twent minutes I went back to his office and probably said, “the name is 24/7 basketball. Five minutes later I was informed that I better have a plan C that name was already taken. I went up those three flights of stairs about four more times. I was getting a great workout but was getting nowhere with my business name. Finally as I sat in my car I started thinking about my life. I had a career ending injury that stopped me from playing professionally. At that point I was at a major crossroads. I could pursue my dream or take a coaching opportunity that came up. Once I took the coaching job I started training kids and the rest is history. That was it “crossroads basketball” and my tag would be “what path will you take”. That last five minutes waiting for approval felt like an eternity. My friend looked up and smiled as he said “it’s all yours”. Cue the marching band crossroads basketball was formed. My advice would be go with what you feel. Out of all the names I came up with Crossroads felt right. Naming a business is like naming a baby, the more people you tell before the baby is born the more times you’ll change it.

    • What a great story, Cornell. It really resonates with me because we have a son who is an emerging soccer player and we’re all thinking about the options ‘after the playing’… Congratulations on a fantastic transition into coaching – the work you do in inspiring others is so important.

  53. Hope

    OMG Marie! I have been struggling with this issue for months! Your email and video described exactly what I am going through at this very moment. I don’t really want to use my name as a domain because after I got married and took my hubby’s name (Irish), I don’t feel like it represents who I am at all. Yet my African birth names are too damn confusing for many English speakers. So, I have tried to come up with other names, asked friends and family too and nothing I have is fabulous. This is completely holding me back, but I will take your advice and just make a decision. Thank you so much for your insight. I love your videos and this is the first time I am commenting here. Thank you for being an inspiration.

  54. Many names for different parts of me.. The bed and breakfast is named: Evelandbnb… It took me forever to come up with it..
    My work as a director is at: I also have my name which shows my work as a producer.. I might just place the production stuff together but I been concentrating in other projects.

  55. Great episode today. The name for my business just came to me and that’s what started the whole process after wanting to do this work for many years.
    The name of my business is Do It Yourself Health but my URL is because Do It Yourself Health was not available.

    However I work with people who have digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and IBS is nowhere in the name or URL so I think that might be confusing. However I called it Do It Yourself Health to send the message that it is possible to heal yourself even when your doctors has no answers for you.

  56. I had to have my fiancé help me name my business when I was stuck!! Since I own a private music therapy business, he came up with Wholesome Harmonies and it has stuck ever since!

  57. Natalie

    This is amazing that this topic just cropped up as I was having a major over thinking attack about this in the last week myself!. Not knowing what to call my originally planned business after completing my market research, led to a company name brainstorming session which has now changed my business concept and plan to one that is so much stronger than the concept I had previously! I believe the name didn’t come to me in the first place as this new and shiny one was waiting to be birthed. With this new name and business concept – as soon as it was decided I did not even contemplate it a second longer, and all is now registered and trademarked and I feel so much clearer and confident in moving forward. My advice is to let your intuition guide you, while keeping your true final goals in mind. & when you catch the vision you’ll know it- don’t over think it because you’ll most likely tarnish something whilst in its original form is completely awesome. Best wishes to everyone who are at this stage right now! XO

  58. I run my company with my husband… we’re a team. We found ourselves at a crossroads after our primary client of 17 years passed away. We needed to make some changes to our structure very quickly. The name New Door was created because we loved the image of the old door closing and a new door opening. It also allowed us some freedom to morph the business model as we define what it is we are doing. We don’t feel limited by the name and it allows both of us to explore different interests.

  59. Ruth

    It took me ages to birth the name of my business. I decided on an international name where there was room for lots of growth and I haven’t regretted it. No point in making yourself small from the start!

  60. Hi…here’s my quandary! I am a psychotherapist with an amazing life story. So I decided to write it “one blog post at a time.” I named my blog It’s a pseudonym. I figured I should keep this separate from my professional business…which can be found at Now I am attempting to get the memoir published AND I also have some books in me that would definitely fit the professional category. In my town, I’m already known as Linda Hoenigsberg…been here for 15 years and it’s my married name. But I love, love, love Lochridge (which was my mother’s maiden name). Do I combine them? Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg? Do I drop the Hoenigsberg? Do I forget about using Lochridge alltogether? Help!!!

    • Karen

      Hi Linda, has a great ring to it, and is WAY easier to remember and spell than “Hoenigsberg”. My money is you should stick with what you’ve got for the memoir – it’s great. BUT you should stick to “Hoenigsberg” for your professional work – including professional books.

      You can always make reference to the blog if you want to send people there, but too much personal information may not be relevant to the business.

      When I started to write this response to you, I was going to say that we are looking for increasing transparency on the web, but having had a quick look at both of your sites, I have revised the idea of bringing the two together in your case – and everything DOES really depend on things on a case by case basis!

      An example of someone who successfully used her “story” as a core part of the authenticity of her business – teaching yoga, running courses etc is Marianne Elliot . Marianne wrote a very vulnerable, personal book “Zen Peace-keeper”. Marianne’s site is

      I hope this is helpful to you.

  61. I think it’s a no brainer really, start by putting yourself in the shoes of your prospective client and google the key search words they’d use to find you or your product. Then pick a name that does what it says on the tin. If you don’t have a product it’s easier to use just your own name, why wouldn’t you, surely you’re proud of your name and you’ll become ‘you plc’ as build your brand. However, if you also have a product, you’ll need to include both name and product to be found in the search engines. Great comments everyone, thanks for the share 🙂

    • Hey Dawn, great to see you on here! Good advice too 🙂

  62. Wow. this is my first time here and am just absolutely in love with you and your team. Serious business crush.

    I set up a blog less then a year ago, with no particular view to founding a business, but now that it’s taking off, I wonder if I’ve made a bit of mistake not calling the blog by my name. On the other hand, I do think the title has a great ring to it (Randomly Happy). So confused now! Must mull this over!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

    • Louise - Team Forleo

      Yay! We are so happy to have you here.

  63. I laughed out loud when I this email hit my inbox. My company naming adventure was a wild one.

    When I was starting my company in 2009, a dear childhood friend did me a massive favor introducing me to a creative friend of his from college who has been part of some of the most memorable television ad campaigns in recent years and who has a ton of experience helping with naming, logo design, and branding.

    As we worked through the logo and naming process, we struggled to come to agreement on a company name. After I rejected several dozen names, very clever ones may I add, he said to me, “I’m never going to get you a name that will work because what you are doing – filming a career documentary interview series with up and comers you have met – is too close to you personally.” His point was spot on, as I indeed had such a personal stake in what I was trying to create…it was the beginning of an educational media company grounded in a documentary series that I had no intention of stopping in my life…I was committed in a similar way to Michael Apted in his “Up Series” documentary work filming career and life stories out of England.

    With that push, I sat down and started thinking about my life, why I had wanted to start this project – to solve a problem I had of not having “Near Peer” learning experiences and creating a knowledge library of these for future generations that complements Peer and Expert knowledge. The push allowed me to reflect on my life, my development, my passions, and my big, hairy audacious goals (BHAG via Tom Peters).

    I was able to bring all four together in a way that spoke to my intent, my goal of creating something that would help individuals better plan, pursue and achieve life and career aspirations. It connected to the game of life (game!!!), the experiences you have had that made you are today (memories!!!), the journey you take in your life (goals!!!), and what it means to effectively bring those together and lead a more meaningful, fulfilled life between the start and end points of life.

    In short, I wanted to help you Capture Your Flag in life and career.

    It was the greatest “A-HA” moment of my life and became the name behind my mission to rethink learning by introducing the Near Peer concept.

    The logo – a zeppelin or blimp – came quickly to Capture Your Flag as it represented aspirations and the journey that comes with it. And since then, the documentary series with up and coming leaders sharing their experiences to help our audience better plan, pursue and achieve life and career aspirations has never looked back.

    Erik Michielsen – @erikmichielsen on twitter
    Capture Your Flag – @captureyourflag on twitter

  64. I totally agree!!!

  65. Hi Marie!

    Great video. Yes!! Naming things is one of the biggest frustrations in our business. We really wrestled with it in the beginning. I think one of my biggest hesitations about naming our business after the face of the business, is that his name is so common. I feel like it could be boring and also really hard to get around the fact that it shows up in google a ton and the names are already taken on facebook, twitter, etc. Also, for coaches. When people add more coaches to their team, does having the business named after them make people more bummed later on when they don’t get to work with the person? Just curious.

    • Think about Tony Robbins – he’s got a ton of coaches that people work with.

      • What do you recommend people do if they have a really common name, and the domain is already taken?

  66. Erin, Creative Soul in Motion

    Great question and honestly something I struggled with for many months as well. For the last few years I’ve developed myself as Creative Soul in Motion And finally decided to stick with that for my coaching, nom-fiction writing and Reiki and created for my fiction writing. In a way I am creative soul in motion but I like having the two separate.

    • Glad I found you here, Erin. I have similar issues – a separate aspects to my work – writing/ art/ teaching/ meditation/ holistic health/ sports coaching… which makes it challenging to define yourself for your target audiences, etc… it’s helpful to see how others are managing it… so thanks for sharing!

      PS. I’m off to read your blog now. 🙂

  67. Great topic today Marie. I wrestled with this decision a few years ago and changed my business name from Cameron Consulting to Laurie J. Cameron, my name. I was moving my business more into the field of mindfulness and thought perhaps I should have that word in my name. But, my expertise is my brand. I am a leadership consultant, coach, speaker and retreat leader. I combine areas of expertise (change, leadership and team development, conscious leadership & business building) which may have different emphasis over time. My programs, workshops and speaking topics all reflect the content. I made this decision after seeing you, Danielle Laporte and Laura Roederer decide to intentionally build the name as brand.
    Thanks for your inspiration. -LJC

  68. I knew right away what I thought was a great name and I wanted it to be something that would also be true to my business, so I have to say I did not struggle with the name: Garrett’s Creative Images, because that is what I do. I Creative Beautiful Images for my clients and I want this to be the business that my husband and I will retire with and maybe pass down to my daughter as she gets older.

  69. Hi Marie!
    This is the subject I’ve been struggling with for a long time. I couldn’t decide what to choose and this problem delayed opening my shop on Etsy platform. Finally I decided not to use my own name as it is difficult to use for people who don’t speak Polish. 😉 Also at the very beginning of my business I used my own name and I found out that I didn’t feel comfortable with it. I’m not sure why, though. However I could easily translate my Polish name – Gracjana – into Grace. And, as I love to use filigree designs in my jewelry and I’m petite woman (only 150 cm totally filigree and I love it, haha), I decided to go for combination of it and this is how FiliGraceJewelry was born. 😉 I use both FiliGrace (for my blog) and FiliGraceJewelry for my shop.

    I’m pretty happy of my decision, but I’m planing new product line, something between jewelry and accessory, something really new and here I am facing one more time the same problem – how to name the brand? 🙂 Should it be under my jewelry brand? It would be much easier at the beginning. But looking in the future, if I want it to grow (and I want it) I have a feeling that it needs its own name. Especially as jewelry business is so overcrowded business and I plan to make a niche for myself (all business mentors speak about niche!). So I’m looking for a catchy and fun name for my new project. Wish me luck, please! 🙂
    Thank you for all your great work!

    Grace. 🙂

    • I like your Polish name! And I think for people who need to communicate with you in English, Gracjana is quite memorable! Even if they might need some help learning to pronounce it from you 🙂 I read it (I am guessing incorrectly) as Grac + jana. Good luck 🙂

      • Hi Nadia. 🙂
        So nice you like my name. 🙂 Thank you. It’s quite unique in Poland. 🙂
        My English speaking friends tend to spell it wrong, though. In Polish you read “c” like “tz” or similar to “s”. And “j” like “y”. So it should be something like “Gratzyana” or “Grasyana”.
        P.S. I love the name “Nadia” and I may even give it to my daughter, if I have one. 🙂

        • yay, thanks for teaching me how to pronounce that! I will remember Gracjana 🙂 And that would be very cool if you named your daughter Nadia – it’s a good name 😀 and quite universal too! Wish you the best in your work!

          • LOL, Polish language is difficult : in pronouncing and in grammar too. 🙂
            I find “Nadia” to be such soft and subtle name. Just my opinion, of course. 🙂
            Thank you! 🙂 And good luck to you, too! 🙂

  70. what if my name is already taken by a porn star? do I dare get it with a dash in the middle, knowing that if peeps miss the dash they’re ending up watching a blow job right on the homepage????

    • LOL. That’s a tough one. You could try TheOfficial or The infront of your name!

      • Rachel

        Hey Marie! I’m having the same issue as Angelina, minus the porn star. LOL. What are your thoughts on using “by” in front of your name (e.g., if your name is already taken?

        • Mandy - Team Forleo

          That could work! Or you could put what your profession is in the URL. For example,,, etc. That would help differentiate you from the other person who shares your name.

    • Oh dear! LOL. Given that kids are a big part of what you do (same for me), you can’t even really put a ‘cheeky’ twist on it to the advantage of your business! Just checked out your blog… so lovely!

  71. TATTYHEAD DESIGN is my business name. Tattyhead was my mother’s nickname for me and Design is what I do. So I win both ways!

    However, all my other creativity and stuff/thoughts/ideas to on my personal website, under my name. It works fine for me.

    This was a great video for clarifying this question. Thanks.


  72. Thanks. When I first started my blog I struggled with naming and ultimately named it after me just so I could get going. I still kept wondering if I should buy a new domain and move it, but now I feel better about just leaving it the way it is.

  73. Great video! When I first had the idea to start my business I went through 5 names and then settled on my name that wasn’t even on the list at all. In my business I design and host websites so I came up with iHostingWebs to cover both parts of my business within the name. Thus, far since 2005 it’s been working.

  74. Awesome topic!
    I just went through this not long ago.
    I have self published 1 cookbook and I am working on a second.
    The name that I went with is Bold Vegan – food of South East Asia.
    The second cookbook is called Bold Vegan – Food For Meat Eaters (who want to eat less meat).
    So, naturally my domain is Bold
    I will write many more cookbooks under this same umbrella so I have that covered.
    I am also in the process of starting a coaching business with the focus being on getting healthier through diet.
    I thought about using Bold but I came to the conclusion that I really am offering a product and a service and the two should not share a name or domain.
    After wracking my brain (and everyone’s around me) I decided on the name Happy Cake (.com) for my coaching business. I thought it would be more attention grabbing than (I do own my name domain and will hang on to it).
    Who knows, I might change my mind at some point but I have so much to do to get everything off the ground that I don’t want to waste another minute on name scrutiny!
    Thanks again for the great episode and everything that you do!


  75. Jennifer Giuffre-Donohue

    You read my mind! I’m always thinking about this & torn as to what to do. I’m a writer (not professionally…yet!!!) but I do have other goals & things I want to accomplish in my professional life. Today’s video really helped me figure out the name thing! Thank you!!

  76. I have always wondered if I went the right route with my business name and website. As an artist, I sell cards and prints and I never considered using my name because I wanted the name to reflect the tone of my art and personality – quirky and oddball. 🙂 Little did I know that a name I randomly created to make a Hotmail email in 90s would end up sticking with me and would later become my business name! Thanks to a couple of Frank Zappa albums sitting near my computer, my email and future business became Cosmikgoo! Its to the point now where some people even call me ‘goo’! Perhaps not the most planned out, but maybe it was meant to be! HAHAHA Now I can’t imagine NOT being Cosmikgoo. Its who I am on my website, Twitter and Facebook pages. Its on my business card. Cosmikgoo has become me. Or maybe I have become Cosmikgoo? 😉 Either way, it works for me. 🙂

    Thanks Marie for everything you do and put out in to the world! Watching your videos has become like a religion for me. It keeps me on track with my goals, addresses any doubts I have and gives me the tools I need to make my business more successful. Most importantly, it gives me permission to believe in what may seem like a crazy, unattainable dream because thanks to you it seems less and less crazy and unattainable every day. 🙂 Thank you, THANK YOU MARIE!

  77. I’m a photographer and graphic designer. At first I called my business Caylena Cahill Photography. I started calling my work this in college when I made my first blog, and then bought my first domain name: A little over a year and a half ago I decided I didn’t want my business to be my name anymore. I thought about it and decided that, if there were ever the situation when I was being sued, I didn’t want MY name to get a bad rap. Of course, I don’t ever plan on being sued, but one never knows. So, I changed my name to be more generic, but also more inclusive of the work I am promoting, since I do more than just photography. My business is now called CC Photo & Media. And the beauty of that, while it’s pretty generic, is that it 1. still has a reference to me, and 2. is generic enough that I could a. sell it, or b. have other employees working for me creating work in the style of my brand. So, in spite of having a unique name, myself, my business name is not very unique, but it’s ok because it will be more open for growth in the future – I wouldn’t want to ever sell something that had MY name, you know?

    • This was super helpful for me (as a photographer!)

  78. Cara McGray

    My business name came pretty easily. I am in the world of wellness, but stick with the science and hardly see what I do as alternative. I guide my clients much in the same way I used case management in education and human services. So, in helping my clients navigate the world of integrative medicine, I name my company Integrative Guidance. We will see if it stands up when I start using social media!

  79. Katy Sutherland

    I am still having a hard time naming my business. I would like to name it after myself but my name is soo long, spelled different than most Katies in the world and not very catchy sounding. Should I create an alias?

  80. Jamie

    Hey Marie. I loved the episode. I struggled with this as well. I spent hours trying to find the perfect combination of words that described my website. They all ended up sounding really corny, so I decided to let the subject rest. A few nights later, in a dream, I heard an Avett Brothers song and a particular line stuck in my head. All day I was humming the tune, while I was trying to come up with a name for my website. At some point during the day I decided to use that line, Love is but an ocean, unrealistic notion, as inspiration for my website. It seems fitting and more importantly it had been decided. Have a nice day everyone!

  81. Hey all, great question! I have a product based business with Life on the Wall, but am now looking at starting a coaching/ consulting biz, so will definitely go with my name. Love the clarity that these brief moments can bring!

  82. Great question. I struggled with naming my business for years and after 3 name changes, yes three, I finally settled on Gray Livin’. I’m an interior designer but I also offer a service in a creative industry. It was a hard decision because in the design field you can name the business after yourself or come up with something unique that represents your brand. I did both. I wanted to have a connection to my business – so I went with my last name – Gray. I also wanted to stand out and brand myself which is why I added Livin’.

  83. Brianne

    Aa! I was just sitting down with pen and paper last night writing out a million options! My new venture will be in the realm of teaching/coaching and I want room to expand it into new things, so it seems my name would be perfect … but, I was an actress and comedian for a minute and while only about 5 people may have heard of me, any search of my name already turns up those results. And my new venture has nothing to do with that. I’ve come up with quite a few really good names – but all the options I think of come up with a url that is already taken (mostly by domain squatters who want to sell it for more than I want to buy it for. That’s the worst. Coming up with something perfect only to find someone has the url and doesn’t even want to use it!) Great great vid though. Such an important topic.

    • Brianne, sounds like we were doing the same thing last night! I know that when you realize the right name something will click. Good luck!

  84. Loved this. I especially liked the fact you said there isn’t one right answer. I initially used a website with my name. Then I switched to the one I currently use, yet I own both URL’s. The name of my business, is me, with a little LLC added for legal and tax purposes. I know as I expand, just as you mentioned Marie, I’ll be expanding my brand, yet it will be under my name, no matter what URL I use.

  85. Love the topic. A name is so important. It will last longer and get used more than any other investment you will make in your business. My San Francisco naming firm, Eat My Words, has a lot of free tips (below) for anyone trying to come up with a name on their own. We believe that a name should make people smile, instead of scratch their head. (Some of the “love at first sight” names we’ve created are SPOON ME frozen yogurt stores, NEATO robotic vacuum, and EAT MY DUST, a janitorial service, and SMITTEN ice cream.)


    How to Name Your Business

    Free Name Evaluation Test (a.k.a. Does Your Name Suck?)

    Domain Name Secrets

    Have fun and whatever you do, don’t get drunk and play Scrabble, like these guys did…

  86. Great subject, Marie, and great question, Tamara! Definitely don’t name your company after your book, but for sure make sure you get the domain name of your book title! Each book needs its own website for all sorts of reasons. Regardless of what you choose to name your company, it’s always advisable to own your name domain. is valuable real estate and you should for sure grab it before someone else does! That said, I struggled with this exact question 20 years ago when naming my business, and opted at that time to go with Innovative Leadership International as the business name because I wanted it to be about the leaders I coach, not about me. THEN, my first book got published and I began to be known as Seal the Deal, or so I thought. So much confusion ensued! Knowing that a confused mind doesn’t buy, I hired a marketing company to do some market research to help me figure out my “already” brand in the marketplace…was it Innovative Leadership or was it Seal the Deal? Shockingly, they came back with their findings that it was neither! Turns out, my brand was my name, so I then reluctantly accepted what was happening and re-branded everything to my name. Which just goes to validate everything you said in your episode today, Marie. If I’d known this 20 years ago, I would have just dealt with my reluctance to use my name back then and saved a lot of hassle! Now, 6 books later, I’m really glad I didn’t strap myself to the name of my book, as you wisely advise in this show. 🙂 Rock on, Sista!

    • Wow, that’s a really helpful case study. Thank you for sharing.

  87. My company name was a bit of a flash. I combined our two first names ‘Melissa’ and ‘Carolyn’ to come up with ‘Mellyn’ and we use a watermellon for our logo so people remember the name. Our tag line is ‘Use Your Mellyn’ which works because we are in education. I’m not normally so awesome – but I love it and it’s been great! People ask us all the time what ‘Mellyn’ means and we have a great story to tell them that makes sense, and that hey remember.

    • Carolyn, I love your name and its story. 🙂 Fantastic idea and indeed, a great topic to talk about with customers. 🙂

    • Love this! So perfect!

  88. Hilary Oliver

    You just clarified for me what I have struggled with for 10 years and never named my business and yet I did because I have been working under my own name for 10 years so by default i did name it!!! Thanks Marie – instead of shying away from it I will embrace it.

  89. Ryan Smith

    My mom actually helped me come up with the name for my web series called Uniques United, after a discussion about the idea of setting up a forum for people with mental conditions. That’s also what inspired me to inject some of these mental conditions into the characters of that web series to give the people who are affected by them heroes to relate to.

    • Beautiful name and beautiful idea, Ryan. 🙂

  90. It’s funny how important a name can be. It took us 6 weeks to name our daughter, and finding the perfect name for my business almost stopped the whole process of getting started. I wanted a name that stood out, had a great meaning and was a little intriguing. Every time I came up with something great, the domain was already taken. Luckily, after brainstorming with a good friend we ended up with a name that has all the qualities I was looking for, and I could get a webpage, business cards etc.
    Interestingly, I never thought of using my own name. I come from a culture that doesn’t really promote self exposure, so that might be a reason. Also, this business is only one part of me, tying my name too it would be limiting and wouldn’t feel right.

  91. I had this same struggle when I was launching my business. I went with ‘Crystal Media’ because my last name is impossible to pronounce, remember and spell (and if I get married one day, it would possibly change). I choose ‘media’ because I’m in the social media space and I thought it was a good umbrella brand to have products underneath like books, info products, membership site, etc. Thanks for the videos and tips, Marie! And we love you too – Happy Valentine’s Day!

  92. I had such trouble committing to a name. I had a general idea of what I wanted; plant-based, allergen-free food, simple, unfussy cooking and a minimilistic outlook on life.

    It took months, I emailed friends, googled my little heart out, looked up meanings of so many different words. I loved the idea of being ‘barefoot’, I absolutely love being free of shoes, such a liberating feeling. But how do you tie ‘feet’ and ‘food’ together? Doesn’t really go right? I though about ‘Barefoot Table’ – well who puts their feet on the table? Too confusing.

    Lucky for me I have some creative friends and they suggested ‘Barefoot Essence’…A-HA! I could talk about food, and life, and any other things that fit into living a simple and unfussy life! I am still working out what my offering will be, for now I am enjoying sharing my writing and recipes with the world and will see where that takes me.

    Thanks for the inspiration ladies! xoxo

    • I really like the name “Barefoot Essence”, it can really cover a lot of your mission. 🙂 Nice website, too. 🙂

      • Thank you Grace! Is it weird say in response that I love your name? LOL It was my grandmothers name and just love it. I wanted to work in into my daughter’s name but I lost that battle 🙂

  93. Liz

    I always wonder if I should rename my business, because it’s such a mouthful, but it’s also dear to me, because it was the name of my blog and how many of my clients discovered me initially.

  94. So…my business is up and running and I still struggle with this. I own the domains for both my name and my company name, but my business license reads Veranda Lane, LLC.

    I never wanted the company to be named after me, because I may eventually take on a partner and we’ll provide services together. I sat with a creative friend of mine and we came up with Veranda Lane as an anagram for my name. I immediately LOVED the imagery it evoked. (Sitting on the veranda of a country cottage with a sweet tea (cocktail) looking down a country lane. Sounds peaceful right?!)

    BUT – people tend to think that my name is Veranda. ARGH!
    (To add an additional level of complication Delana is my middle name, not my last.)

  95. Hi Marie, enjoying your material and your style of delivery. Totally authentic. Great work. Regards Vince

  96. Jennifer

    I decided to name my company after the products as I’m building a brand. I agree with the person who wrote in, choosing a name can be very difficult. It’s best not too spend too much time on this. Anyway, you can always go back and change the name to something else if the first thing doesn’t work out.

  97. Liz

    Hi Marie,
    I’m making my boyfriend watch this video! The name of our business has been a huge issue! It has totally held us back from creating our website, registering our business, getting business cards made etc.! My boyfriend and I are both freelancers in TV, Film and Video production. We have been building a production company together for the last couple of years, but have been operating as independent contractors. We never have trouble finding work, but we want more than working for others. We want to make our own films. I have come up with several great names, but it’s my boyfriend who is indecisive and passive in the process. I’ve finally decided for us so we can get the ball rolling. I’ve also decided to branch off and brand myself as a writer/director/actress/on camera personality using my name within a business name. My goal is to interlink building my brand and our company’s brand. For example the content viewers will see comes from my brand, but the actual program or film was produced by our company. I hope this isn’t confusing. We haven’t registered with the state yet or started our website so i’m reluctant to use our name ideas in this comment. Well I’m off to learn how to create my website and how to best structure our companies! Thanks for the great videos! I’m looking forward to B school!

  98. Jennifer Giuffre-Donohue

    My legal name is hyphenated and I like it but it’s also hard to’s Giuffre-Donohue (pronounced joo-fray) I’m slightly torn as to whether to use that or make something clever up like Jenn GeeDee (which may not be clever…I’m trying here..LOL)..bottom line i want it to be memorable and for people to be able to find me, not pass me up because they can’t remember my hard to prounounce name 🙂

  99. Hi Marie, I too agonized over my business name simply because I had a couple of products that were not related. After a few weeks I came up with a name that described not only my one product but left the door open for my creating and moving on to many different products. I offer “a mixed bag” of products.

  100. After 10 years of being in practice I changed the name to accommodate the expansion……I had a heck of a time pooling words that had meaning and putting them with words people could understand and relate to……one thing I found is you can’t bounce your ideas off a lot of people……there will always be someone who doesn’t like the name…and if you asked their opinion and didn’t take it……it can (it was ) hurtful.

  101. Susan K.

    I myself have been weighing this question for too long. This is great advice! My name has 20 letters and is not phonetic – Even though I am a speaker, author, and coach I wanted a business and domain that people could type easily. My options: Change my name or become synonymous with brand. My name is part of who I am – so no problem I have a brand that when tested came back with overwhelming positive reviews.

  102. Katja

    This topic is such a great topic.

    I feel indecisive because when starting out, YOU are the business, but if you want to grow your company, it is more inclusive to choose a biz name that entails something bigger than YOU. Also, for us foreigners who want to work internationally, our names with funny letters is not always easy to use without spelling it…which is not really that practical in marketing.
    So, back to naming your business something related to the difference or impact you want to make: what would be your advise on finding an unforgettable, usable, “big enough” name?
    Thx, Katja

  103. In 1989 I bought a bar/restaurant in a small town (less tan 50 people) but a large farming community. When searching through the land description I noticed that the town was originally named Derby. So I decided to name the place The Derby Inn. The locals loved it as many of the older folks remembered when it was called Derby. The Derby Inn became very successful as a place for many of the farmers doing business with their bankers, seed dealers, etc. Also state representatives would come to meet with the farmers. We also acted as the voting place on Election Day. Today, The Derby Inn is still going strong – 24 years later even though the ownership has changed hands 4 times. No one has changed the name – it’s become an icon.

    • Cheryl, your story is so inspiring! It’s awesome when a name is becoming an icon. Congrats! 🙂

      • Cheryl

        Thank you – I know had I named the business after myself that the name would have changed each time someone bought it so I am very proud that it has stayed the same. I still feel connected.

  104. A great technique is to name your business after the #1 benefit your product/service offers the customer. Like !

  105. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for the great advice. I started my business in 2007 and didn’t even think about naming my business after myself. I sell a product so I went with a business name (House of Papier), which I love. It wasn’t until about tow years ago that I realized there were all these other areas I wanted to venture into and additional brands I wanted to launch. However I still struggle with fully changing my business name, because as you mentioned, I may want to sell it some day. I bought my “name” domain name last year and I will eventually build it out this year. However, here are my questions:

    1) I’m not married yet. What happens when I do get married? Would I change the business name again? I know it sounds weird but it’s something I’ve always thought of.

    2.) Can I keep my business name and just have another domain ( and branding separately? Should I do a DBA type of deal? Or have 2 businesses?

    Thanks for your insight!


  106. Ha! A very timely subject, as I am currently agonizing over this very thing. (And dang it, you didn’t spoon-feed me my answer!) I have named (traditional biz) companies that became multi-million dollar successes but am torn now that I’m developing my own platform as an author and speaker. A couple of my projects seem strong enough to stand on their own and become a whole ‘thing’ of their own, based on their own themes which are potentially bigger than me/my ‘personal brand’ – kind of the way movies are launched with their own unique website, rather than simply promoted as one of several/many on a studio/producer/director’s site. So I’m leaning toward thematic sites, figuring I can always have my own site later showing a variety of my projects, events, etc. Think I’m going wrong direction? I’m always open for feedback. Thanks for tackling this great topic. God blessya. -JP

  107. First of all super cute outfit! 😉 Rockin the animal print today. And true what you said about coaching vs. product. I have both. LisaCashHanson(dot)com for coaching, service based products. SnuggWugg(dot)com for my baby product business. So I’ve used both. Great tips 🙂

  108. My first name ends with an ‘a’ (Nadia) and last name starts with an ‘a’ too! So I just don’t think that would work 🙂 Also, what I am doing is bigger than me as an individual, but I sign off with my first name so there’s a person you can connect to when you send a private email. 🙂

  109. Sophie Decorte

    Hi Marie,

    My name is Sophie and I am from Belgium. I have a dream and would like to accomplish it . My dream is to offer health holidays special for ex cancer patients based on body and mind medicine to regain energy physically, mentally and spiritually. With a lot of focus on healthy food and healthy mind. I already have a place where to do this and it is not Belgium.. Too cold. but in Malta, island in the mediterranen Sea. I have called my project “Sahha, I wish you Health” or Sahha health holidays for cancer patients.
    Cause I think Sophie’s Health Holidays sounds too personal. although it is a very personal approach.
    what do you think?

    Big hug,


  110. I decided to go with my name for my new life coaching business….even if it might be a challenge for people to pronounce…. as that allows me to grow with it, to stand by what I’m doing now, and plus, it’s industry practice. However, every step of the way of building this new adventure, I ask myself: does this bring me joy, is this me, does it make me smile. I’ll read up what experts have to say, but then let it “percolate down” and follow my gut… That’s why I added a subtitle to my business name: “Playing with Kairos Moments” which I LOVE right now but which could change over the years as my business and I grow together…

  111. I love this question! I own an online fitness/wellness service based business so I had to deal with this when planning and launching. I ultimately decided to do all of my branding under a business name, L3 Fitness. However, I went ahead and purchased and redirected it to This helps people find me online, something very important for my website. I also have the option down the road to have to land on a page just about published books, speaking engagements, and events should I want that- while still keeping my day to day business under the L3 Fitness name and brand.

  112. I had a similar situation when I started my first business as a photographer. Everyone in that industry seems to name their business after themselves. I didn’t like the idea of Stefanie Garcia photography so I wrestled around with it and went with a version of my name. My spanish first name is Estefania and so I used the last part of it (Ania) and create my photography business Ania Photo.

    Now I have created another project of sorts and have named it something completely different, but I will also have my name domain pointed at it.

  113. I’ve struggled with this myself and here’s MY question. What if your name is long, hard to spell, full of vowels and no one would remember it?


    Sue Ingebretson (long, Norwegian, vowel-ly last name 😉

    • Sophie Decorte

      I think you have a lovely name ! go for it!

      • Yolanda

        I agree Sue. Stick to your name.

    • I agree! I don’t think your name is complicated – especially with the short first name. It’s unique. It reflects your culture – adding a nice ‘mystique’. I’d remember it.

  114. I too struggled with this until i realized i needed to go with my heart and stop second guessing myself. Then, sat down had a quiet reflection and there was the name and what it stood for. The biggest breakthrough was trusting myself, not looking for external validation and approval.

  115. OMG I think I made a mistake… lol
    I’m a coach and my recently-born business name is 30K Coaching. I decided to name it 30K because 30,000 is the number of days an average person lives. I thought it was a good idea, but now I’m starting to think that maybe my name would’ve been a better idea.
    What do you think?

    • “Coaching for life” sounds GREAT, unless someone wants to live longer..
      Honestly the first impact of the name was 30k as for 30k USD coaching, and this is limiting someone who needs the coach, and this is his/her average yearly wage.
      If you have a good vision/mission for the company and you explain the concept, I see no reason for you to invest time and money in changing the name.
      Enjoy the time spent with your clients and continue to enrich their lives with your directions and advices!

  116. I think it’s pretty easy to allow a lead to after people hit enter. You just have to set it up with your host and be able to invest in two names (or more).

    I chose my name because I don’t want to have to buy it later or lose it. It was fast for me to come up with (obviously) and I figured product names would come in due time. It is possible that one day people’s full names will be bought out online and then you’ll have to pay much higher than you can now for them.

  117. I love your energy Marie. I have had MANY small businesses over the years and struggled with the names each time! I have found that a business name that describes the business is best because I sell a product (even tho I make the product), and a creative tag line REALLY helps define the product……so I came up with: Tea Time Candles………a candle in a cup.

  118. As someone who helps entrepreneurs name their businesses, products as well as craft hot tag lines, I am thrilled Marie tackled this issue. Hallelujah!!

    This is the sticking point for too many, and I struggled with it myself before I made the decision to brand with my own name.

    As entrepreneurs, our journeys will take us to ideas and places we can’t imagine in the present, and using our names gives us the ability to grow and adapt without the fear of outgrowing your brand name.

    Thanks for your perspective Marie. This episode is gonna get some airtime on my site 🙂

    ps – I’m a B-School alum. If you are considering it, do it! B-Schoolers are world changers!

  119. Monique Sherman

    Marie, I am at pre launch mode now, just finishing the website and I still wonder if I should have used my name! I am the brand?

    I am a life coach that specializes in empowering and inspiring women as they begin the second part of their lives. I wanted to do some one-on-one coaching but mostly I wanted to host fun, invigorating workshops. I wanted to help find the passion and purpose again and inspire them to be productive about their life’s work. So P3 Lifeworks is what is went with for a company name.

    My mom died 11 months ago and it was just like that chain email, the one where the husband looks in the drawer and sees all the items his wife never wore, waiting for a special occasion. I found every present I ever gave my mom-never used. What I did not find was evidence of a life well lived. What inspired her? What did she love? who did she dislike?There were no concert ticket stubs, vacations, or books read and re read. She did what women of her generation did, put her family first and herself last. I want to help women get more from their lives. So that no other daughters have to lay awake wondering if her mother ever had joy.

    • Just wanted you to know your share brought tears to my eyes (in a good way!) Thank you so much for commenting here Monique AND for doing what you do. FYI, please tell this story all over the place with your business (website, videos, etc.)

    • Fantastic, sad, beautiful post rolled into one Monique. Wishing you loads of success and impact.

      • .. such an inspiring mission you have found, Monique!! God bless your actions!

    • Monique Sherman

      Thanks so much for the encouragement ladies! I am launching on Friday, there, I said it aloud. 🙂 I can always adjust as Marie gives out more information.

    • Marie

      Your story of your reasons why to help empowering women touched me so very much! I can remember my mother in someways upon her transition seeing her life as not “fully lived”. Even though she was a wonderful teaching and mentor, I want to help others see the richness of what they can do. But I know it starts with me! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  120. Hey great vid. You need to be really clear about what you are going to do if you start a business using your name and then there are “difficulties”..

    You already mentioned lots of businesses that survive without the founder.. that has happened in fashion a few times.. founder falls on hard times, investor buys the assets (including the trade marks) and then falls out with the founder… bingo bango founder is prevented from using their name as the tm of their business and the branded business continues even though they are not alive.. classic example is Elizabeth Emanuel, the English designer who designed the wedding dress of Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles…

    • Absolutely Aaron – there are upsides, and downsides on every side of this issue! Thanks for sharing another piece of the puzzle.

  121. What a great topic. I never even thought if some of the things that came up in the comments. Overall I agree with the video. I started as a brick and mortar buisness working with other practitioners so we called it Earth Ayurveda Clinic. But now I half work online and half through a studio I don’t own thus allowing me to travel more and people expect me to be brick and mortar because of the name so I am slowly switching to my ne and credentials. I’m starting to think the best way is your name- catchy title. Example one of my favorite yoga teachers Gina Caputo- Yogini on the Loose. Hope this helps:)

  122. I’ve wrestled with the same issue. Can’t say I’ve totally figured it out but for now I’m the CEO of a renewable energy business that I founded in 2011 (Greenlight Energy) but I’m also looking to brand myself as an expert focusing on the convergence of sustainability, staying local and earning green. Don’t know what any of that is quite yet. But I’ve come up with Worthy Babble as my moniker. Hey, that’s what I do: babble about stuff I think has some worthiness!

  123. Hi Marie

    Did not know what to call my website, but since I was laid off from my job 2+ years ago, it evolved out of that. Necessity of Change, which is what I would have to do and it does kind of lead to all facets of life. I am happy with the name but have started YouTube videos under my name. Maybe eventually the two will interconnect. But I do have other sites and they are specific, not sure if they will eventually fade. But I definitely see how limiting a name can be.
    Thank you for the information.

  124. Thank you for this video, Marie. I have struggled so much with naming my business too. I’m still not sure if I should stick with this: but I figure I had to start somewhere, right? 😉

  125. Thanks Marie! Just chose to go with my name as a result of this video. I’ve been spinning in the creative cul-de-sac for 10 YEARS! WTF??? And finally realized that I’m the product that clients have been paying for all these years. Holey moley. Thanks for making it simple and light. DONE!

    • Oh Dawn! You are so not alone… me too (re: the 10 year wtf?). You’re right, Marie did make it a lot clearer (and lighter – thank goodness!). Looking forward to checking out your new site! 🙂

  126. This is something I totally struggled with starting out…but I think I have reached a great solution to the problem. Since I have such a common name, I decided to go with a business name instead so I didn’t get lost in the Google crowd. Not to mention almost every iteration of my was already taken!

    With an engagement on the horizon, I have decided to add a new branch to my growing business. When my name does change, I’ll begin using my in addition to my current site, and I’ll just link the two sites together. My boyfriend actually bought the url address for my birthday.

    I design couture wedding and event invitations and stationery, so when my name does change, I will use the new website,, for my couture work, and I’ll keep for my ready-to-order collections. certainly can’t run without me, but ECRU Stationery sure can!

    Thanks, Marie!

  127. Marie and the Community, THANK YOU for this video!

    Like most people, I’ve also been debating for far too long on this one! I’m a visual facilitator — I draw peoples’ conversations and presentations for them large-scale and LIVE!

    I started with a LONG name (Natural Vision Facilitation, LLC) and decided to change my domain name to something shorter and catchier — I am even still debating if I should come up with something shorter or just stick with what I have or use my name…so many options!

    Thanks for everyone’s perspectives!


    • Vas

      Excellent question and a befitting response as well.
      Your name is the shortest version of your brand story. It encapsulates all that your brand stands for in a few words. I typically allow a day for name generation and of course follow a guided process to take you through all stages of naming a business – right from name storming to ideal ways to reveal it.
      For Marie Forleo members and especially B School aspirants I would love to offer free consultations! You can reach me directly at [email protected] – if you have a complicated name like mine, it’s a no brainer you wouldn’t wanna go with it! I love my name but its just too complicated – so I try to stick to elements both visual and verbal which are closest to the meaning of my name.

    • Vas

      Stick with conversketch if the .com is available and set up parallely. You can divert traffic either way. Just don’t let this stop your pace

      • Thanks Vas!

        It’s incredible what power branding has — Apple has nothing to do with fruit and we all think of technology when we see that little white apple! Choosing wisely but not getting hung up and limiting your progress, that’s so important!

        Keep the good stories coming!


  128. Fadzi

    Hey Marie, it’s like you are in my head hearing my questions and answering them instantly because I was just thinking about this as I am getting ready to set up my website. Thank you so much, this episode has once again shed some light. You and your team are MUCH appreciated!

  129. Dear Marie, thank you for your suggestions! You brought into discussion the great advantage of using the founder’s name for the website. That saves a lot of time and money; it also brings a great deal of flexibility 🙂

    Choosing the name for the concept I’ve created was definitely under pressure. The first day I thought of a business, I went to the Commerce Hall in order to check what paperwork and financial resources I need for starting a new business.. and I walked out with the company registered (I had the enough amount of money with me, there were so many queues for every question so after asking the questions, I was filling in the forms – to save time). THAT was CRAZY!

    I knew roughly the domain (tourism/travel agency online), but had no clear plan in my mind. This was the 1st mistake!! DON’T DO IT – no business plan, no business!! Instead of dealing with promotion, I am stuck in the business plan. I know there is a way to get things done, but I lost precious time!

    The name of the company was decided after 2 checks of compatibility on Google, done by the officer. My third choice seemed right for tourism, but the moment I have googled it at home, the first site, including Colour Trip as key words, is a satanic heavy metal group. That was deluding, as my concept for the kind of tourism I want to develop, was everything BUT satanic. Now I am redesigning the website and hope to bring to life the new full concept (by April), to all of you, dear successful women (if you are in this group – you are a step ahead of other bright women that are trapped in their daily routine)! I can say the name reflects the idea of the business, but cannot tell if there is a better version of expressing my concept of traveling.. I would truly appreciate if you could give me a feedback about the chosen name.

    Thank you all for existing and good luck to all of you in obtaining everything you desire in order to reach true happiness, complete health, peace of mind and soul!

    Yours sincerely,

  130. Thanks Marie for another great video! Using my name for my business was not really an option at the time (I launched my company with my husband). We’ve decided to go with a business name that really defines the services that we offer (we design websites for coaches, online marketers and local businesses) so we chose WP Help Club (since we also provide free tutorial videos for people that want to build their own website). After working with dozen of clients we’ve recently added a tagline to our name to really reinforce what we are trying to achieve, it’s “Bringing your Website Vision to Reality”, and I love it!

  131. For 7 years I had a website named after my vision of the time:, but as I shifted my focus I started going website-buying-crazy, I purchased and, until finally I made the connection that I am my business and I will always be me, so even if my focus changes, I wont have to keep buying a new domain or re-creating a brand. So relatively recently, under a year now, I finally bought my name I think one more Q. that may be helpful to ask is: are you scared to put yourself out there? We can hide behind the name of our business, as if the business is something outside of ourselves(unless of course your creating some Big Business), but if your business is basically you, then I found that as soon as I realised that I was just scared to put my name out there as the main brand, and once I got over that obstacle in my mind, it just made sense to see me as my business and so now my main site is

  132. This is timely, Marie. I’ve been struggling for months with the name of my first book. I had been asking the B-School Babes at the Facebook group countless times (they are so sweet and patient!). I dream at night with different names, I change the one I have once and again… So far the name is: Hell Yeah! A Guide to Living Your Epic Life
    The book is about manifesting abundance and making your dreams a reality through taking joyful action (the Hell Yeah! action). I wonder if I need to be more explicative in the title and maybe use the word Abundance….
    Hell Yeah! A Guide to Living Your Abundant Life
    Some people say that the word abundance is overused. Others say that the word epic is too young. My target is young women like you though! And I am a big wave surfer, so the word epic fits with my story…. Any thoughts out there? Thank you!!!

    • Ngoc Khong

      Hi Mercedes, I think it depends on how young your customers are. For me and many friends of mine with the age range from 20 to 27, we like the word Epic better! 😛

  133. Hi Mariettes,

    Thanks for another fab vid Marie. I spent most of last year tearing out my hair about what to call my PT biz. Initially, I went with my name but gradually this has evolved into something different, and now it’s called Supernige. I’m really into the whole avatar thingamajig so Supernige feels good to me especially since most of my work involves helping people remove the blocks that get in the way of them achieving their natural potential. In other words I help people unleash their inner superhero. YAY! I now own the domain name as well which has sent me flying up the google rankings. You might want to check it out!

    Love Nige

  134. Holy sh$t! I literally just checked my email to see if my friend responded to my question regarding NAMING MY BUSINESS.
    Instead I got this email from you. And I decided on a name in 5 minutes.

    Thanks Marie!

  135. Caprichos Studio. In Mexice “Caprichos” is the Spanish word for something you gotta have, like you have “un capricho” for some enchiladas. Not to be confused with caprichuda, which describes a very high-maintainance female. In Colombia it means “keepsakes”. I create one of a kind handcrafted precious and semiprecious jewelry, paintings, drawings, silkscreens, purses, art quilts and art dolls. A grad school roommate of mine described some trinkets that she got in a care package from back home in Bogota as caprichos, and the concept stuck with me.

    • Vas

      Lovely name for your business!

  136. Marie! Love q/a Tuesday–as I was waiting for my morning Joe to perc, I thought–ooohhh, I get to listen to Marie today!

    I’ve have 3 websites–an evolution!

    I ended up with my and I also bought a few other domains as well. Inspired by you I bought . . . I went with my name for the reasons you mentioned and it is easier for people to remember than anything else!

    I love the idea of but I wanted to think about my “brand” when I’m not writing about mommy stuff! I am a professional mother and a professional writer and it all comes from ME–whatever I create comes from Renee Baude–so it made sense for me to use my name.

    Be Blessed.

  137. I had the same problem! Moreover, I had never heard about women naming their business after their own name in my country (Slovakia) and I always thought only men do that (like Donald Trump etc). However, when I thought more about it, I realized my business is like my baby and we give babies our names or names of our relatives/friends, so then I was like – why not? And so I named my education company MVAcademy where MV are my initials but at the same time it’s initials for “education for managers” in my language. Anyway, since I named my business after me, it really does feel like my baby and I take better care of it 🙂 also MVA – my initials+A will stand for my future brands – MVApparel, MVAuthors, MVAgency etc 🙂

    • Martina, I can totally understand the problem with Slovak names – I moved from the UK and am now living in the Czech Republic and I know how frequently people end up with the same names, and also, how confusing it is for natives to discover that my name Rowen, added to the non-“ova” ending surname, Bridler, is actually a woman. (Manazerska Vyuka or something like that must be what ‘education for managers’ is? Am I close? I haven’t quite mastered Slovak yet, Czech is still testing my language skills quite enough!) Good for you that you have such a great prefix to start your brands – like the ‘i’ in ‘i’Phone, ‘i’Pod etc, your brand will be super-recognisable! I love that idea.

      • Hey! Thank you:))))) Its Manazerska Vzdelavacia Akademia but yesss you were very close 😉 Dont worry I actually see trend of Czech and Slovak women not getting -ova with their husband’s names anymore. When I get married, I will keep my family name and just add my husband’s name without -ova. Actually I just realized if he ever has a problem with me keeping my name and not taking just his, I have a great reason – I cant change my name because my business is named after me! ha! 😀 why did you move to Czech? Do you like it there?

        • Ok – I tried! I moved to Prague because of the housing situation in London getting so difficult and because I felt I really should try living abroad for a while and the Czech Republic was the easiest place to get a starting job as an English as a foreign language teacher in a capital city there, of all the places where I knew some of the language (choices being France, Germany and Spain on that basis). And for two years I did live in a lovely flat in the centre on my own. Now that I’m concentrating on singing and voice coaching, I’ve opted to live with my boyfriend for a while to save money, but I’m sure I’ll get back to Vinohrady or somewhere in central Prague soon! Great idea about your name/not changing it due to your business!

          • Cool! I hope it works out good! There is not much competition in eastern europe yet so im sure you will be success 🙂

  138. that was supposed to be Mexico- sorry.

  139. This question is also my question.

    I have struggled with this decision for over a year. I got mixed advice concerning it.

    I have a difficult name to pronounce and spell, but I need to position myself as an expert. I replaced the struggle with a decision, and lent my name to my blog/website ( to start, but I still found myself doubting. So I bought another dot com that has my message in it and I am thinking of directing everyone there starting this spring.

    I am proud of myself for not delaying my start, but I have plans to launch as a business with program offerings, officially, this spring and I want to be confident in my decision moving forward.

    So Marie, what do you think? Should I stick with my own name— even if it’s tricky to spell?

  140. This was so timely, because I have been trying to figure out how/what to name an “umbrella” company whereby, I can house the vast majority of my businesses. When I came up with my travel agency name, Chicks That Trip, it was easy, because my business partner and I were the “Chicks” and while we “Trip,” our goal was to help others “Trip” too.
    The next site I just launched, Chasing Women Chefs, it was a bit more difficult, because I had a concept around women in the culinary world, and while most of the women I have/will interview, are women, I wanted it to be a bit more encompassing that I am recognizing ALL women in the culinary world. So, I simply had to explain that a bit more in my “About” page, and it seems to be working out ok. Now….sigh, to the next business name I need to come up with —- it’s been a challenge, but hopefully I can get it together within the next few weeks!
    Thanks Marie, for such wonderful and timely information. I’m glad I joined, and hopefully one day I can go to BSchool!

  141. Hi there! I’m loving all of these topics Marie, thank you so much for sharing! Although the business model of my business has changed, the original inspiration for what I wanted to bring to the world hasn’t. From the very beginning, I wanted to bring the message of the full circle of giving and receiving. I felt, as many of you do I’m sure, that I was “Divinely Inspired” and that I HAD to bring this message forward. I named my business The Giving Door and have loved that name ever since. I am in the process of completely changing the business from where it started, but I don’t feel it necessary to change the name because I love it so much. I actually sat at the computer with Go Daddy and punched in names and would only entertain names that had the matching web domain available. My name, Lane Blake, wasn’t an option, because that, unfortunately, is already taken by someone. (I looked him it up, he’s a realtor in Arizona!) Anyway…when I paid to have my logo and marketing collateral done, I loved it all. The Giving Door—Give, Receive, Thrive. As it turns out, the GD on my logo could be God in Hebrew, as a rabbi pointed out to me. Needless to say, I LOVE that. Divinely inspired and God is even in the name!
    Much luck to all of you, it’s a process, but it’s worth paying attention to.
    Peace and Love,

  142. I struggled with naming my business as well and started with a name that wasn’t at all describing what I do.
    Every time I talked to loved ones and business coaches all I kept hearing was you have a unique name and your business is what YOU are offering. I recently stopped torturing myself and chose a domain name with my name and also used my name on my business name.
    I wish this post was out when I was torturing myself but at least I know I made the right choice.

    Thx Marie

  143. I started my website with my first name last name and I realized my message was not about me so I changed it to my soon-to-be business name. GetCFit.Com

    I just did what felt right and also, it is way easier to spell and say than my name. PLUS I don’t want people trying to become like ME, I want them to become their highest self. 🙂

  144. Great, simple advice! May I suggest one addition: before you commit to a name make sure it’s available to incorporate or register and as a website. If someone else has already incorporated the name you’ve chosen or if the .com (etc) is not available you’ll need to pick another.

  145. I was having the same problem with the name for my business, but wanted it to be separate from using my own name for my music/singer-songwriter work. So for my singing teaching/voiceover coaching I searched for the most googled terms for learning about singing and it was ‘how to sing’, but that was already taken as a domain name, so I tried to think of something to add to it that would suggest the passion and enthusiasm involved. I came up with ‘How To Sing For Your Life’, but still wasn’t sure if that was good enough, so I asked members of my mastermind group and they said they liked it as it was, and I just decided to stop procrastinating at that point and got on with setting up the website – – and the only criticism I’ve had since was that it’s too long. But I think that was the only way to get the google search advantage of ‘how to sing’ added.

  146. This was a total struggle for me. Unfortunately I had no idea what I was doing when I started my blog and now that I have direction I am stuck with the name.

  147. LOVE how your boiled this sticking point down to offer very easy solutions to this common hurdle!

  148. Such a great, timely, affirming video for me–thank you, wonderful as always!

    I struggled so much with this–originally wanted to use my name but it was already taken (seriously?).

    Then was using “” and…snooze…people know they should get healthy but really…it’s not that inspiring & seems like a chore to many.

    Then…my brilliant friend said “Heather, you should do something with ‘Smart Sexy Cooking”. AHA! As soon as he said it, it was like the heaven’s opened up for me.

    I felt INSPIRED, INVIGORATED, FUN, PLAYFUL, FEMININE! Cooking is Smart & Sexy & there are so many things that can be done with it (i.e. food products). And, I always want what I do to bring out those traits in women.

    A Smart Sexy Woman is one who makes intelligent, clever witty decisions that makes her vibrant, living, energy excitingly appealing–that’s what Smart, Sexy Living is all about!

    So, I’ve changed it to “Smart Sexy” & super excited to launch my 21 Day “Get Your Sexy Back” Detox for Beginners & “90 Days to a Smarter, Sexier Summer” Group Program. Using a website I’m not thrilled with until I have another one designed but getting out there and taking action.

    Live Smart & Sexy!

    Thanks Marie!

    Thanks again for another great video!

  149. I earned my first $ Million selling someone else’s products, growing someone else’s company. As my confidence grew, I naturally wanted to create my own products and grow my own brand. I opted not to use my personal name because 70% of people, even those who know me, spell it wrong 🙂 I knew the initial products I created were going to be related to goal setting and turning dreams into reality, so after careful reflection, I went with ‘The Goal Guru.’. Everything I have created so far falls under that umbrella and expect it will continue to hold true for years to come. This year we are launching new brands, all from within this core brand/message/niche. You will be fine as long as it’s not too limiting. What matters most is that you begin and allow yourself to evolve and grow in the direction of your deepest desires.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill Koenig
    America’s Top Goals Coach

    • The Goal Guru! I LOVE it Jill! SO creative and inspiring!– Lane

  150. Aboslutely & So blessed to hear that I was not the only one! The resolving was a blend of knowing a piece of history! In the LATE 1800’s, John “Peg Leg” was a school teacher & A Cranberry NEW JERSEY… he is the one that discovered that cranberries bounce! He garnered top dollar back then because he figured out how to seperate and provide the BEST product to his community & the shipping captains!
    Our last name is the Webb’s…. I remembered this story as I was struggling and the story is a reflection of our purpose…. we say from one generation of webb’s to another you get premium quality in our products. We want to grow our brand to encompass the Country Premium quality lifestyle from foods to life style products.

  151. Wendie Tobin

    How timely! I am currently making this switchover to a name URL. I own a writing business. It is named with clarity; people can draw a conclusion of what services I offer based on its name. My company URL will forward to my name domain (so glad I own it!). I realize that, as more people in my industry become familiar with ME, I am the brand.

    Unless you are selling one very specific product (or set of products) and that’s all you ever truly plan on doing, I think it’s limiting to pick a company name over your own name. Even if you are the cupcake guru of the PNW, can you envision venturing into the mysterious world of cannoli…even if in the distant future? If there’s even a chance, be careful with that company name. (In my opinion, the plan should always be upward progression and change. I’d like to think that every business owner would want to be open to possibility.)

    When I started out, I hoped that SOME PERSON, SOME DAY would hire me to write their résumé. Today, I work on projects of a completely different magnitude and scope. (Résumés make me cry, break out in hives, and eat far too many Cheetos and other artificially-colored foods.) Can you imagine the mess I’d be in if I formed an LLC specifically around business-based writing services?

    Also, from an SEO standpoint, if you, the person, hold the reputation as an expert in your industry, a “name” URL is favorable.

    This is my first time commenting here (I think), but I watch every week. Keep on keeping on.


  152. My business is about fitness and there is nothing in my name that tells people about that. So I chose “Fitness Reloaded” that at least has the name Fitness in it. 🙂

  153. Gosh! How I wished I get to watch this video before I register my domain for my blog a few days back. In any case, I already have registered, so if it comes to a stage when I think using my name is better, I’ll simply do a redirect. Even if we use a non-name domain, people will still get to know who we are from our blog, so naturally they will associate our name with the blog. Kinda like what Pat Flynn from and Scotts Dinsmore from had achieved. Love your posts Marie, all the way from Singapore! xoxo

  154. You always hit a nerve Marie! I have made up my company/web name, in which is, however, naming a program has been my difficulty. I would love to hear more on how to make a “sassy” title for a book/program. I am now aiming to do a “Fit & Fabulous” health program, which gives women the capabilities of living their best lives, being energised and loving themselves & their body. I’d love any comments, if someone has any thoughts…Looking forward to the B-school start!!! Can’t wait 🙂

    • ‘Fit & Fabulous’ sounds great to me! Your domain name is clear and concise too. Best wishes for abundant success and joy in your business!

  155. Thanks for tackling this! I am in the middle of a naming dilemma. This definitely helped give me some guidance.

  156. Get video Marie,

    Really valuable because it was something I gave far too much time to.

    I’m actually divorced but Katie Peck was my married name and I thought, hmmm pecknutrition, kind of has a nice ring to it, as it peck rather than gorge on food.

    Your advice made sense and very reassuring.
    Love, Katie

  157. Great advice. I have struggled with this and have changed my company name a few times now…I had one name that gave no one any idea of what I was doing, to using my name which is directed to my Etsy shop but is as vague. I have now chosen another name but it’s pointed to a website still under construction…(boy do I need B-School).

  158. Since I was starting my business as an in person or online tutoring/coaching business, I went with a name that had Tutoring in the title so that people looking for that service would find it as I build the content on the web. However, since I knew that I’d probably want to grow past that business, I also registered the .net version of my name. The .com version was already taken by a very, very, top dollar realtor in NYC. Do you know her? My site hasn’t been brought online yet because I am still growing into all the skills I have that I want to share. In the meantime, I am learning how to do better web marketing, far more slowly than I’d like or planned, on site. In addition, I made a point of keeping the name location neutral so that I could grow into an online tutoring business.

  159. I’m a freelance graphic designer but I chose to give my business a name other than my own because I’m interested in doing so many different things with my business and I wanted a name that could grow with it, especially if someday I want to hire employees. I also wanted something that would sound interesting enough that people would click on it with no other information on blogs, various social media sites, or even Instagram.

  160. Lisa

    As an aesthetician, manicurist and, soon to be, Certified Laser Technician with several certifications, I wrestled with what to name my business. While I still have not made a final decision, I am leaning toward Vanity Confidential. There are many women who do not want others to know they have had injections of fillers, botox or other treatments. I also assumed my name on a sign would not portray what my business was when seeking new clients in a busy city area. When I am finished with my Laser training (and before opening my small skin care salon) I suppose I could go with my name followed by C.L.T. Still up in the air!

  161. Hi Marie,

    Thanks so much for today’s video. This one is incredibly timely for me as I’m struggling with I want to continue running two different brands – my name (I’m an actor-dancer-singer) and my fitness business – or whether I want to bring them together.

    As I get closer to the level of success I desire in my passion as a performer, I find myself wondering if it is time for me to choose. I’m not ready to give up teaching entirely, but I know that the scope of business that I set up for Leap Ahead Fitness is overwhelming my ability to focus the creative energy I want to my acting.

    I watched as Kris Carr and Danielle LaPorte transformed their businesses to their own name and merged their efforts and wonder if this could work for me to. My only concern is that I don’t want casting directors and other professionals in the acting industry to perceive me as being less serious about my acting because of my teaching endeavors.

    I would love to hear from you and other folks in the MarieTV community about how I might gracefully make a transition that would suit my changing priorities.

    Thanks, Natalie

  162. I have one business under my name. And the other under a business name.
    But I like what you said….you can launch different brands under your name which is what I can do with the fitness business.

  163. What a great video! Especially since I spent 4 hours yesterday going through domain names and ideas for my business. The problem is that I started my photography business under my name. So it’s my current website and I have about 400 business cards with all with my name and I have lots of clients already.

    However, I see myself being an author, coach, and consultant and would like that under my name too. My question is, is it too much to have everything at one place, or do I take the leap and rename my photography business before it gets any bigger?

    Reading through all the smart comments has definitely given me more clarity!

  164. Great info!

    I’ve named everything “beauty by Atoya” but it bugs me because it appears that I am making someone beautiful vs. they are already beautiful.

    My current last name is Sexauer. Yes, it’s pronounced sex hour. So Atoya kinda sounds like a porn site…hahahah…and it’s my last name from my previous marriage so I don’t really want to be tied to it.

    I’ve thought about just mixing my first name and my middle name. Atoya Maunee. com….

    I am in the “beauty” industry but I think it’s a just a gateway into much more…


  165. Kim Thompson

    Great subject. If only it were so simple! I’d love to use my terribly common name, but the URL is taken (by a really cool female drummer). I could use my full name, but no one identifies with me as Kimberli – that, and the spelling is unusual (I do own Middle name is Kae, so could possibly use

    See what I mean? My “business” is amorphous, so using some iteration of my name would be best.


    Kim Thompson

  166. I sat with my business coach, a cup of coffee and a paper napkin when all of a sudden the name of my company came to us.
    I wanted my audience to relate to the fact that we never full “arrive” and that we are always working on getting ourselves better.
    Getting is a process.Getting Organized for example. Even as a professional organizers I am constantly purging and setting up systems as my life and business changes and grows.
    So “Getting It Together ” was born. I also thought it would be better for resale as I have CDs, programs and other products. I felt that if I ever sold my company and it was after my name the new owners could destroy my reputation if things ever went sideways.

  167. Marie–

    I am so digging your knowledge, style and approach!!! You are a much needed inspiration at this point in my life!!!

    I’m a very visual person as well as a writer, so often the name of a new company or idea will be very clear the first time it makes an appearance; but like when writing copy, it often appears ’round 3 am…I have learned to keep something handy to capture it in those inspired moments…

    Thanks for your courage to follow your vision, and your kindness in encouraging us to follow ours,


  168. Naming our prior business took some doing, making a list of names and going back and forth over the phone until one day, the name we decided on resonated with us (Embrace Sweets). Our latest business name was quite easy, hummingbirds came into our lives on a daily basis from a hummingbird story I came across and seeing hummingbirds everywhere, hence, The Hummingbird Company, selling hand etched with empowering words, scented soy candles.

  169. The other side to this coin is your name itself. If it’s very popular, it’s can be difficult to rank and be found via search. My name is Shari Lynn Smith, and because I’ve been around for like forever I do come up, however there is someone who is indicating copyright on my name on twitter, which I don’t think is legal, but as a Shari Lynn Smith who grew up with a Shari Lynn Smith just down the street.. I’m used to being copied 😉

  170. Bertha

    OMG! This one hits the nail right on the head for me! Same thing you went through, and after all that debate I end up naming my company: Bertha Aybar Design, LLC… Or BAD, LLC. Of course I didn’t pay attention to that little initials detail. After six years I ended up closing business and I’m getting ready to hit the road again. Thanks Marie!

  171. Thank you for your video. I learn so much from each one.

    My partner and I brainstormed a lot of names in English and in Japanese. Both of us have a connection to Japan, so when researching our business name ideas in English, we also tried them out in Japanese even if they were made up words. It was a lot of fun. We ended up with suminoizumi which is a made up word meaning ‘ink pond’.

    Our aim is to build a community of creative women language learners (doesn’t matter the language) who motivate, encourage and learn from each other. Both of us felt that the word suminoizumi (ink pond) represented creativity and diversity, which is what we’d love for our community.

  172. I named our first company “Immeasurably More”

    Try saying it over the phone or spelling it for UPS…Forget about SEO and people typing in the domain name right the first time.

    We moved on to something more memorable 🙂

  173. Hi Marie,

    OMG! Just made the decision to change my company name to my name yesterday. I had been working with a friend on the logo and we had started tossing around the idea that it should be my name instead! Crazycakes! Thanks for posting another great video. All the doubts about my company name have cleared right up.

    Cheers, M.

  174. Deborah

    I would love to name my business my name – the problem is that I have a very common name. And because my name is spelled the old fashion way most are prone to type in the newer version. I have the URL of my first and last name with my middle initial but….. geeper what do I do in this case?

  175. Alice Wilcox

    Hi Marie.
    When I went into business in 1987 I struggled with a name!!! I opened a
    full service salon and spa, and finally with the help of a friend who had
    a large marketing company, we came up with the name “Texxtures By
    Wilcoxx I liked Texxtures and she always said we should have our
    name attached to it, I’m so glad we respected her expertise and went
    with it. She decided we should play off the 2 x’s and make it a little more memorable.

  176. Kelly

    Just business is still gestating – but this is an issue I’ve been mulling over. Thanks for tackling it so succinctly!

  177. LOL!!! Man O man! As I was reading Marie’s description of the torture it was to name the company I was seriously having flashbacks of the ridiculousness I put myself through naming my site/company. Halfway through naming my company , I had to pause and I said to myself, “Ya know, I am an intelligent woman, this should not be so difficult!! ” Lol! So many questions and it felt so heavy and so “important” . I started my company just a month ago and created a new site for it (and carried over some old blog posts from the old site ) in the end I went for my name and really picked something because I felt like it was slowing things down and I had to pull the trigger. There were so many options. I had considered something more business-y like The Mina Group, all the way to something totally silly like, MinaMina International (friends and clients end up calling me MinaMina for some reason) We went with Mina Shah Enterprises. I looked up the word enterprise and loved every association that went with it. Now a couple months later I realize there was no reason to stress so much AND that a few great insights, like the ones Marie just provided, is enormously helpful in making the decision. Also thank you Marie for the clarity because now I am happy I did make it my name. You are so right about not being cornered with one topic as I know things will change with time. Thanks for being marvelous, Marie!

  178. Kym

    I decided to make an Umbrella name – McBride Productions to house my other ventures. I had a bookkeeping company – (Bookworks!!) and a card company (McBride and Company) and my REAL business – which is me and the services I can only provide – as an Intuitive – so I just used my name (Kym – but it is UNDER the Umbrella name too. It makes my taxes easier!

    My views on using a ‘cute names’ – I kind of lump it together with picking a name for your pet. IF YOU CAN GO OUTSIDE AND YELL IT AT THE TOP OF YOU LUNGS AND YOU DON’T WANT TO DIE FROM YELLING IT…then it might work. (i.e.. losing your cat with the name “Dark Vader” or “sugar pie”) So the same with your business name – if “Booty call-on-me” is your “cute” name – how long before you are dying from others saying “welcome Suzie Shomo from “Booty Call-on-me”……. Or the people say “For a Booty Call – call Suzie!”
    Walk around saying the name over and over and see if YOU feel comfortable with it – practice introducing yourself…does it FEEL good? THEN see what your family and friends “turn it into” – and if they turn the name into phases that you don’t like – then it’s not the name for you.

    Also know that sometimes your “cute name” is a word for something you might never even imagine…e.g. – say your company name is “Fancy Follies” and have dreams of breaking into the European market some day…..well KNOW that the word ‘fancy’ in Europe mean VAGINA! So they will think “Vagina Follies”…. I know this to be true, for when I was in Ireland – I made a BIG taboo in a little town in Westport Ireland with this very word usage! Google it First!!!

  179. Love your advice Marie!
    For years I really thought I needed my business name to be something besides my name. I was so frustrated that I could not come up with a name. I was working as a computer consultant as an employee, and when being an employee did not meet my needs I had to become an independent. I had to file some name at the State for my LLC, because I needed to be insured before I could go into a client site. The insurance companies needed a business to insure. So I quickly filed a LLC under my name. It was the best decision I ever made. I am now in the process of transitioning out of the computer field, I am now an author and a speaker. Using my name as my business name is great, and it pushed down so many road blocks that I didn’t even know I had put up.

  180. I had the total opposite experience where the name just popped in whilst I was meditating, no effort at all. I think if anyone is struggling to really ask themselves about what energy/qualities they are hoping to convey/share and what word/phrase would embody that? How do you want people to feel? x

  181. Africa Archield

    Thanks for the sage advice, Maria! I have been in procrastination overload with naming my business. Just last weekend my friend stopped me in mid-sentence as I was pitching yet another name. She said, “Stop messing about and just do something already!” I’m not messing about anymore. I already own the domain name I will use for my coaching business — — Woo Hoo!

  182. Great video, Marie! As a brand strategist, I get this question a lot and it’s spot on to consider not just your long term plan, but your mission and especially your industry and competition.

    I named my branding consultancy Red Slice for a few reasons. One, no one really knew who the hell I was at first and I was also operating initially as a virtual agency at the time, so this helped to show it wasn’t “just me.” Two, It has also helped me in my early speaking career to give more credibility when booking engagements (ie, Maria Ross from Red Slice, vs. just Maria Ross, a freelance branding consultant). Third, I wanted to stand out from my competition who all call themselves MY NAME Consulting. As a brand strategist, I wanted to show some marketing creativity through my business name! Red Slice is a play off of my red hair and the fact that I have many slices and passions available: I write, I speak, I consult, I act, etc. A double meaning is showcased in my web graphics, as the red slice standing out from the bushel of green apples (meaning, I help my clients stand out, get noticed, etc.). This becomes a much more interesting and memorable story to have with potential clients.

    That said, naming is super tricky. I once worked with a small business where we took 4 months, and over 1000 name options and the CEO still couldn’t decide! To help everyone here, here’s a blog post I wrote about the 7 things to consider when naming, based on a fab book called The Brand Gap. These are really important considerations when picking a business name so enjoy!

  183. Merrett Sheridan

    I invited all of my smartest, most creative and fantastic friends over for a girls night brainstorming/naming session! Why do it alone when you can surround yourself with inspiration and smarts? Share It With Merrett / Professional Advice on the Go! Coming soon….

    Loving this site and all that it stands for as I embark on this new journey….thank you 🙂

  184. I had one name for y business for 4 years and people could just not remember it. I recently rebranded about 9 months ago to the Church of Cupcakes. My point is, even if you decide on one name, you can always change it. 🙂

  185. Thank you so much for this video, Marie! I have been struggling with this for weeks, months, years even. Your advice really gave me some clarity on the issue. Much appreciated!

  186. So timely, because I simply must make a move. I’ve been stuck for too long. I chose a name quite quickly. It felt great and came from a dinner party with 10 girlfriends of mine. They blurted it out. Well, I didn’t move on the trademark fast enough. I actually would have had it, if I had pulled the trigger that week. Really is a lesson learned, but I am still in disbelief and thinking it may end up working. Then again, the universe may be telling me that the name is not right. Maybe the brand needs to be me for now. You helped me take a look at that option again, Marie. Thanks!

  187. still uncertain about it, but i started with my realnamedotcom, which one should have in any case i think…
    super outfit, marie!

  188. Love this question!! I struggled with it as a fashion designer – but my gut told me NOT to use my name. I also wanted a brand name that tied into my product and something catchy 🙂 I design a line of custom skirts so “Flirty Skirt” just felt good on the tongue and I went for it!

    Check out my collection on
    Love u Marie!! Xo Chels

  189. I knew that if I named my business after my own name, people would have a difficult time remembering it. Over the course of a couple of days, I prepared a list of names like Prism and others and just when I was ready to choose… and none of those names really spoke to me, I went to ask my best friend and husband seeking his opinion when it hit me that YellowFish Communications was the name I could get excited about. He immediately said an emphatic, “yes!” and that is how my company’s name was chosen.
    Since I started this business, I have wondered if I should have created a company name around my own name especially when I see Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield and yours but I know that I can easily create that public persona to enhance YellowFish Comms when I am ready. My business isn’t big yet, but I am excited about the services I offer and since I am making a transition from full-time to part-time public affairs officer with the military, I feel this is the time to affect change with my business. Helping people communicate is my motto and I ‘love’ what I do!

    • Hi Giselle, my other half also emphatically supported my choice of company name too (which is Go2 Travel). I can’t tell you how much benefit there is in their buy in to the name as every single time they mention it to someone they get a little twinge of pride in playing a part in the name and that energy comes across when they are referring you. They are our best advocates and having their buy in and support is invaluable IMO. By the way, I love your name YellowFish Comms!

      • Hi Samantha, You are so right! He is one of my biggest advocates and he does talk about it with a great deal of pride! He supports what I want to do and he often is seen on my FB page liking, commenting and sharing to help create discussion for my other fans! Thanks… we love it too!

  190. Joel

    Hey Marie, i was EXACTLY in the process of finding my new company name. I want o be a web consultant, but the problem is that my name is french and somehow confusing for english people to spell it. “Alain” is my last name (confused for “alan”, “allan” etc). So i wanted to use my name as a domain but im afraid ill miss lots of referal if people cant get my name right. What do you think? Thanks

  191. This is TIMELY. I just today did those free worksheets from Danielle LaPorte and one of my actions was to choose a name and a logo for my business! I am still trying to figure it out – it will not be my name, that I’m sure of, and I’m in the midst of brainstorming lots of great names to choose from. Trying to figure out how to convey my product the best through one or two words. It’s a fun process right now, I plan to have it figured out soon so I can create a website.

  192. I wrestled with this decision for more than a year, going back and forth between using my name and coming up with a clever business name that would ring true for my customers. Going round and round and back again, I never completely kicked out the idea of using my name in the business name. When I couldn’t come up with anything else that rang true and grabbed me, I finally decided to use a shortened version of my name – JFields – along with my industry title – Marketing – knowing there is truth in it, it represents me 100%, and provides intuitive information for the customer and search engines. Four years later, JFields Marketing has served me well.

    • JFields Marketing sounds like a very professional name to me. Great choice!

  193. My name is fairly common and I wanted something more unique. I love the name of my blog, Practical Skintuition. I struggle how I’ll develop some of my other ideas, but I’m basically planning on linking everything I do under one parent website. I also ultimately opted not to use my name due to an issue of personal safety. Using a different business name allows me to follow my dreams but to still maintain a little bit of anonymity.

  194. Hi Marie, I love, love love you! This is exactly what I have been struggling with for the past year. I didn’t want to call my health Coaching business by my name because I do not like it( my married name- Polizzi ) and even searched my maiden name but it is taken. So, I came up with NourishedinWellness but I feel that it is too common of a name with many variations. so, by the sounds of this video, I should go with my name as a company name. Doesn’t sounds weird and hard to remember?

    • Hi Michelle, for what it’s worth, I think strikes up images of character and attitude – I think it’s a great name! Sounds sassy. Whatever you decide – you go girl!

  195. Great topic! I struggled for ages with my name and it was something that paralysed me from taking action for far too long. I ended up settling for and the business name is Go2 Travel. In some respects I regret using 2 in the name as it takes forever to explain to people the email and I’m sure I miss some people that type in the 2 as to. However, nothing is more exciting than when recently my other half ran into one of my clients and they realised the connection and he said ‘I’m Samantha Alford’s other half’ and my client said in front of a whole heap of others ‘yeah, Go2 Travel – they’re great!’. So it amazed me how much the name sticks regardless of what it ends up being when you get the service right.

  196. This is a great video, wish it was out 2 years ago when I created my mistake! It was a learning process and I’m finally on the right path!

    I started out want to differentiate myself from other chiropractors. especially since what I do is so different. I created my descriptive business name which was “Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic.” Unfortunately, it was a mouthful and confusing to many people. They didn’t realize that they didn’t need to have a neck problem to see me to achieve whole body health, and some men didn’t realize your cervicals are in your neck!! Big surprise to me!! I’ve been in my science-y school brain to long!

    After a year and a half of struggling with marketing and finally realizing that people didn’t care “HOW” I helped them get healthy, just that they were coming to see ME, I finally switched everything over to Dr. Nimira. None of my patients call me by my last name because I have a relaxed healing space. It’s a unique name, so eventually I don’t think spelling should be an issue, it’s also much easier then my last name!! I’ve definitely realized I am the reason to come see me, so I’ve now changed everything, my FB, Twitter, Email, Webpage all to just DrNimira and it’s made my life so much easier!

  197. Sheryl Puracchio

    This decision was made for me because my last name gets massacre when people pronounce it let alone spell it! (purr ah key o) Since my business is about training people how to develop, establish, and expand your cause I decided on I am in the process of building it now and can’t wait for your BSchool!

  198. I already named by business Haute Shots, but as I have grown with my company, I often wonder if I should have just gone with my given name, Stacie Frazier. As an artist (photographer) my given name makes sense, but as a movement for women, I like the name I went with. Haute Shots makes more sense for the possible TV show based on it too. But, here I am still questioning if I made the right choice or not. Sigh. Any advice for changing the name after a business has already begun Marie?

  199. One other thing that might help gals, is If you go there and type in the name you’re thinking of it will tell you whether that name is available on all the other social networking sites so you can align all your activities to your brand. Hope that helps!

  200. The name is so important, thank you for shining light onto this… After starting a business that didn’t pan out the way I had visioned, I realized it had much to do with the name among other things… No one understood what it meant or could pronounce it for that matter. It’s so important to get this right so that when marketing and branding the name it encompass what the brand speaks and be understood no matter who you.

  201. Ashley

    Marie, did you really know where you were headed when you first started your business? How clear “should” one be on where they are going before actually launching their business and/or website? I ask because I too have spun my wheels around a business name, which has gotten in the way of me actually launching my business. At some point, I imagine that one must take the leap without fulling knowing where they are headed and ultimately, trust in the process. Thanks for any insight you might have to offer 🙂

  202. What’s in a name? Wanted to jump in one more time and add to my comment earlier about double checking your brand name if you aren’t using your name.

    Just read about when they launched the “Got Milk?” campaign into Mexico, it instead accidentally asked “Are You Lactating? Needless to say, it didn’t help sell milk in Mexico.

  203. Oh my GOD!!! I LOVE this episode. Thank YOU Marie…. and itching to enrol for B school in 7 sleeps 😉

    I’m one of the few people in my business who named their business after themselves ….. and I’ve been thinking that maybe I was just unimaginative and boring. I even had someone comment that I should have a ‘cooler’ twitter name. Well now. Wasn’t I smart after all.

    • Wow, I can’t believe someone would say that about your twitter name. I like your given name!

  204. Love this!
    I was blessed with one of those long Greek last names…Anna Tsoulogiannis! 🙂

    I knew from the beginning I wasn’t going to name my blog or my photography business “Anna Tsoulogiannis Photography” and thus annawithlove was born! It all worked out as all my services I offer are under the annawithlove company. I have a portrait business, a fine art photography shop & my lifestyle blog

  205. Noreen

    Hi Marie
    Thank you for this great tip. I have struggled with a business name. My last name is Aussem pronounced Awesome. Its catchy, and so thought I’d use it in my business name, Instead of my full name something like
    “Aussem .————”
    rather than “Awesome————-” Which is used a lot more. But after listening to you Think I’ll go with my name as I may add to the business in the future. Thanks again

  206. I registered a domain after my name but the guy who designed my website advised I shouldn’t use my personal name, so I went for another name that is descriptive of what I do. I still own the domain I registered in my name because I know I’m going to need it in the future.

  207. Fiona Stewart

    Hi Marie

    This is part of a much bigger list of things that are holding me back from getting into my stride in my business! Thanks for raising the issue!

    A question for you – I have had a twitter account for almost 2 years now, but I don’t have a website yet (it’s in development)! My followers know me as @stewart_fi and I’ve reserved the domain name and What are your thoughts – or anyone else from your fabulous followers – on this kind of hybrid? Does it work?

    Loooooooove you and it’s great having you as one of my “mentors” through your powerful videos – I totally aspire to being as successful at what I do as you are!

    Keep on keeping on!

    Fi x x

  208. Elysha

    Amazing insight! I feel like I should have my website be my name… but my name is hard to spell. hmmmmm. With lots of love! Elysha Maughan

  209. Just don’t wait to long! Probably the most poignant thing about this post. I’ve been sitting on way too many domain names and not activating any of them. So I say, “Trevor, get your butt in gear and just go with your name already”.

    I guess a proprietary name doesn’t hurt too bad either.

    Thanks as always, Marie… You make my Tuesdays all shiny like.

  210. Urgh. *don’t wait too long*. But maybe wait just long enough to check your grammar, right?

  211. Sharon

    Unfortunately my name is the same as an actress. She’s not super popular, but it definitely would have been a problem if I named my business using my name.

  212. Hi Marie,

    What a great video! I wish you had been around 3 years ago when my partners and I were trying to decide what to name our business. We explored the gamut from the boring “RPM Marketing” (based on our last initials) to “3 Geeks and a Martini” based on an off-the-cuff joke at a marketing event. In the end, we went with some humor and a hint towards what we do. I find that the reaction when telling people our business name is priceless AND few people forget it.

    At the same time, I, being the only partner currently active in the business, have decided to make it a subdivision, which will soon be organized under my name. So, it can go backwards too! Thanks for the great videos!


    Kathleen Melen
    Geek #3

    • I LOVE the new name Kathleen! Did you find the it difficult to make the transition to the new name at all?

      • Hi Stacie,

        Thanks! It’s been a lot of fun. It was especially fun when all three of us were together. One of my other partners was named Kathleen too. So we’d go to networking events and introduce our selves. The first would get up and introduce herself as “Kathleen with 3 Geeks Media.” Then the second would get up and introduce herself as “I’m Kathleen with 3 Geeks Media too.” One time there was a random guy at a networking event who introduced himself as “Kathleen with “3 Geeks Media” also. I still laugh about that one.

        No, it wasn’t difficult to change names. But we only operated under “RPM Marketing” for a very short time and viewed it as an interim name until we found one that all of us liked.

  213. I am a feng shui/lifestyle coach- I want to name it after my name, but what happens if you get married and your name changes. Also, I don’t particularly love my FULL name. Could I use maybe just Janice K (since that is my middle initial) as a brand name?

    • Gina

      Don’t change your name if you marry! Keep you own name always. Where I come from it’s ILLEGAL to use your husband’s name.

      And Janice K sounds great!


  214. Yo Marie,

    Like you, I chose my name which ended up being a good move since I’m on my 16th book. Can you imagine trying to manage 16 different websites?

    Love your weekly messages–they always make me smile and wonder, “Why doesn’t everybody have a career they love?” It’s really the only way to go.

    Big, beautiful blessings,

    Pam Grout

  215. Fay

    First of all, Marie, THANK YOU! I have been struggling with this issue…
    I would like my company to cater to a bilingual (English/Spanish) audience and I am not sure how to go about the name. If I use my own name, it is an English name (although my middle name is Spanish)… and if I use a Spanish (generic) name, my English speaking clients may shy away from the site…. I need help!!!!

  216. Hi Marie! So, I had a marketing and communications company for 18 years. I tortured myself too on what to name it, and my brilliant graphic designer (top shelf design firm) advised me that my last name, “Strickholm”, was a strong and memorable name, and Nordic-sounding, which connotes solid work product. So I went with The Strickholm Company, and built an agency. Worked out great.

    Then I had a medical ‘thing’ happen that caused me to stop working for over a year. Now I’m getting my bearings, and want to shift my focus over to writing articles and books, and possibly also getting into radio and webcasting. In this case, I am the commodity. I’m still healing from that ‘medical thing,’ and still exploring this new business identity, so I know I need wiggle room. Because it will be creative media products that I create and promote, using my name as the website makes sense.

    Also, I’d just like to suggest that no matter what direction you decide to go, you go over to a site like NameCheap dot com and spend a minor few bucks to buy your own name. Just because, think about it, do you want someone else to have a website with your name? No! Thanks Marie, love your work!!!

  217. This has been my biggest problem too!!! I was worried that my business name would no be taken seriously or look professional enough. But in the end I followed my heart and went with the name that made my heart sing. “A Child At Heart” will be up and running very soon, so if you want to liberate your creative inner spirit…come on over. Watch this space! Thanx Marie for addressing this issue and to all those in the same boat as me, my heartfelt thanx for your inspiration. X.

  218. Gina

    Marie, you didn’t mention using a pseudonym. If I were to name a business after myself, that’s what I would do, as my last name isn’t catchy at all and I’m constantly spelling it.

    Are you against pseudonyms?

    Thanks for all the good advice!


  219. Gina

    I gave my niece and my nephew their name domains for Christmas a few years ago, and every year I pay for the renewal. Think of doing that for your kids if you have any, and get all the permutations (.net, .org, hyphenated and not) if you can afford it.


  220. susie mordoh

    This was a big issue for me. I could see advantages to each but in the end I decided to move ahead with Greater Than We. My mantra: Unleashing the Power of Collective Good

    I am an event planner that has a passion for crowdfunding events. As I move toward my long term goal of setting up & coaching my clients through their fundraising campaigns. This work is ‘Greater Than We’ & naming the company after me intuitively didn’t feel right.

  221. Thank you, Marie for this video. I like it 🙂
    My story related to the choice of name is funny, I think:

    I’ve just started create my website. I decided to name it Dagonfly (combination of my name and “dragonfly” which I believe bring me happiness), because… of course I love the appellation “Dagonfly” and I feel it’s great appellation for me but…
    I thought that… I will marry soon and I then will have different name, so… DAGONFLY is something that will not change 🙂 It’s good reason, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Gina

      What’s this about having to change your name when you marry? Keep you own name, for pete’s sake!

      • It was facetiously, Gina 🙂 I want to take my fiance’s name 🙂 and I love appellation “Dagonfly”!

  222. This is so timely because I have been putting off setting up a website and getting things going because my inner critic was hassling me over the whole naming thing. It caused me some serious stress. But I built that website this weekend and soft-launched that baby today cuz I am ready to roll and do some serious business building:

    Kick Ass Life Tactics
    New Education for the New Era

    It’s all the stuff you need to learn in school to make it in this world, but never learned. I’m starting with one-on-one training and adding some e-courses and other online group trainings down the road.

  223. Awesome Question!

    I’m a first time entrepreneur and excited to launch my business in the Spring. Choosing a name for your brand can seem like a daunting task although you can make the process a lot easier if you break it down into manageable steps. Here is the process I worked through, hope it helps you too!

    > Choose a few names that excite you.
    > Are they a good fit with your product or service offering?
    > Check to see if they’re already being used (Google Search, Domain Searches).
    > Are the names easy to remember? Test them with a few people you trust. If they can’t remember the names or if they ask you to repeat them several times- you might want to consider alternatives.
    > When you narrow down your choice to one name- leave it alone for a few days (surrender it, let it go). When you come back to it, are you still excited by the name? Does it still make sense to you?
    > If yes, then it’s likely the right name for you! If no, repeat process.

    To protect your brand, I’d also suggest you purchase as many domains in the name as possible (.com, .org, .net, .ca, etc.) and point them to your main site.

    Most importantly, have fun and good luck!

  224. Michelle G

    I thought to use my name, but all the domain combinations for my name are taken. What’s a girl to do?

  225. I, too, struggled so much with this decision. I’m still getting started on my Personal Business adventure, and very early into the journey… I decided to name the website as the product name…I’m still struggling with the registered business name and I’ve put off actually registering until I gain more personal clarity. This video has definitely helped. It will not be my name, but rather a brand name and DBA the website name. The site is not up yet, but if you want to like us on FB, we’ve started a following there. 🙂

    Much love and gratitude,
    Kerri~ DeployJoy

  226. I created the name of my business by accident. One day I was sitting on my porch soaking in the sun and I said to my girlfriend, “I’m like the get in shape girl, or something,” and it stuck.

    When I was a little girl and I declared I wanted to be a movie star and a singer, like Madonna, and I also wanted to use an alias. At the time I hated my name (Kyra) and now that alias works because it’s no fun always trying to correct someone’s pronunciation of my name.

  227. Brilliant! I love how you cut straight to the chase with simple, straight-forward and fabulous advice every time, Marie. Counting down to B-School! xx

  228. Right now I have my Ceramics business associated with Hannah Blue (which is my artist name, not my given name) and The Pottery Girl; which I love b/c its simple, and clear. I don’t have a registered business name or anything like that but Etsy serves me well.

    Thanks for the helpful content as always!

    Hannah Blue

    • Hannah! I LOVE your business name! Way to go girlfriend! <3

  229. Yes, I too struggled w/names for my design business, went from one name to the next until I attended this business meeting for Christian Entrepreneurs & a name was prophesied to me. It was a done deal after that. God’s way is the best way.

  230. Awesome advice! While I went with my name for my photography business, I’ve been struggling with how this will play out in the long term. I have many interests that I suspect will develop into other projects/businesses and I don’t want to manage multiple sites…that just feels really overwhelming! I love the idea of considering yourself the hub and you just highlight whatever your present focus/project is through the one site. My direction seems so simple and clear now…thank you!!!

  231. I am ❤ing these videos Marie, and I also enjoy reading all of the comments about other businesses too! Mine are Good to Be You (GoodtoBeYou) and Sparkle Plenty Designs. GoodtoBeYou was actually named by my husband, b/c we were brainstorming a variety of ideas, and wanted women to feel like it WAS good to be them when they found our site for fun girly things (please check out our homepage graphic — I’m sure you’ll recognize it’s a beautiful NYC penthouse – complete with a Westie!)

    Sparkle Plenty was originally named from the Dick Tracy character of the same name, but we acquired this biz several years ago and added Designs to it to make it our own we create custom rhinestone apparel, bling-wear * accessories.

    Thanks for letting us give ourselves a little shout-out – I appreciate it!

    Stay sparkly,
    ¸.· ´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·’*~ Lee*

  232. Hi Marie,

    Thank you for your video and again it was very insightful. I’m a fashion designer and my first SF business from 1985-1993, I named Variance, which means something different than the norm and at the time my crinkle silk line was really not normal. I loved my line but using my name did not gel with me. Now 20 years later I’ve decided it is time for me to use it. My clothing line is called Francesca oh! “Francesca” means freedom and “oh” is for the expression of life, O. H. are also the initials of my last name. I named my fashion blog NOT YOUR NORMAL FASHION BLOG because it was very descriptive. And I named 2 Facebook pages Francesca oh! is my fashion page and Oh! New Page is my holistic healing page. I decided to start Oh! New Page after watching your last marketing video. So that is the logic behind all my business names.:)


    Francesca oh!
    Twitter: Francesca_oh

  233. Great topic and so many Great comments and business names! I have always put A LOT of thought into the names of my businesses; Wishful Gifts was one, our used bookstore was, Another Chapter, and now I have Creating Happy! It may not clearly define what it is I do, as I am still getting clear and defining that! But I follow my heart when I choose names and I think this name is inviting, happy and intriguing, it is my intention, how I want to live and the name leaves me plenty of room to build and grow Creating Happy! I love the energy of this group and look forward to more!
    Create your Happiest Moments!!

  234. I’ve had so many websites (for different businesses) all with different names and I wish I had kept it simple right off the bat. It is a lot easier to stick to your name if you are the brand; that way when you change, grow and evolve you don’t have to start from scratch again and again, especially if you have built a client list + fans.

  235. Yolanda

    Great information. As ALWAYS your videos are very informative and super fun to watch. You have great presence and energy. Continued success to you Marie! (and to everyone else following their dreams)

  236. As someone who always has to repeat their first name 3 times every single time they meet someone new (ka-DEE-ah), as well as having a silent “h” in my first name, I opted out of using my name for my website, and was totally stoked when I found out that was available! (wtf?) After trying at least 25 other names that didn’t totally click. So I’m really happy with my choice because there’s so much room to expand, and I’m not under one category with the name I chose, it fits into nutrition, gardening, personal growth, etc. Anything I want really. It also brings out the inner hippie in me, making my domain name feel like home 🙂

  237. In my business of life coaching, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do claim to continually learn and grow…which is why I named it Lifelong Learning Center. While I am focusing now on helping teachers, I see that my business name has lots of room to grow and encompass other expertises (?!?) So, eventually I hope to develop a coaching practice that can house/host many other life coaches, like a firm. That’s why I didn’t just want it to be Leslie Frey Coaching.

  238. I found this one fairly easy for me as I always knew at some point in the future I would like the option to sell my stationery and paper goods brand (Pigeon Pie Design) but I also work under Emma Miller design for my graphic design and hand lettering work as this is something that is dependent on me…. so I guess I have the best of both worlds 🙂

  239. I have been struggling with this too! I am an introvert, so honestly I just don’t like having that much personal exposure.
    Another question, i see that a lot of people commenting have pictures of themselves, how do you do that?

  240. Marie

    I still ponder on what is truly a good name. Right now I like the name I created because has a bit of a ring to it ” Markar Marketing”. It is actually the first three letters of my name and the first three letters of my daughters name. Kinda good luck (or intuition) I think! 😉

  241. I’m offering a product for “lil people” (kids), combined with the purpose “to help parents spend a lil bit of time with their kids,” and the fact that the kids only need a “lil bit of help” to get cooking, and I came up with Lil Bit Kit.

    My issue is coming up with a snappy tagline. As I sell more kits at the farmer’s market I’m seeing a pattern, the most frequent question is “what’s a Lil Bit Kit?” and my answer is always “a baking kit for kids.” I think my customers have decided on a super simple tagline for me:)

    Love the videos Marie! I used to watch just for a lil bit of inspiration (see how catchy lil bit is!?) But they’re even better the second time around post-business launch!

  242. I am currently getting ready to launch my new businesses and thought I’d chosen well on both. One I think I did alright – based on today’s episode of MarieTV – but my second one…now I’m questioning. Although I think I might be able to remedy the concern I have. Thanks Marie for all the info and timely advise. Keeping me moving forward…..

    Lisa L.

  243. Okay, so here’s my thoughts on Marie TV today – I’m a trainer, soon to be published author, podcaster, blogger and personality type junkie. I’ve got a domain name registered to a potential company name, not launched, but all my content is linked to my sitename – chrismontoya dot net.

    Based on the video – my vision is to be an expert in my field, and build online training products to help people understand personality type, enhanced relationships, coaching and leadership. My industry is full of certified type experts.

    My vision is to modernize type through a new paradigm of research. I’m speaking at conferences, and starting to get the word out there. So-I might have a static site about a book (like 4 Hour body by Tim Ferris) and still use my main site for the dynamic, interesting person I am. 🙂

    That said, Marie, I’ll see you in Bschool very soon! Thanks for the advice.

  244. Hi Marie and community!

    I can relate to this so much. Not deciding on my business name has definitely been one of the biggest reasons for not moving forward with my business. The website name, business cards, etc etc. ahhhh!!!! There has been so much back and forth between using my name or something else. This 4 minute video answered a question I have been struggling for months now. Thank you, Marie. You are a light that shines love to the world.

  245. Mel

    Hi Marie, great video – this was my dilemma for months, and I know many others struggle with this very thing. Thank you for breaking it down for us!

    For months I was too shy and embarrassed to name my site after me, and I registered two other domain names only to fall out of love with them right after I bought them.

    I built and destroyed three sites over the course of a few weeks and made many lists with key words, interests, concepts, ideas of what I wanted my site to convey. I experimented with themes until I found one I felt comfortable with. Having no name for my site delayed the process of getting my site up and running.

    In the end I went with my name even though it was scary, because I am a writer, and because at the end of the day – simple is best. And I just kept hearing “ship! Ship! Ship!” so I stopped deliberating and plunged in.

  246. Hi again Marie!

    Yet another amazing video! I totally agree that you should name your own entity after yourself. This method gives your business a more personalised effect! People start to recognise you and in turn is very rewarding.

    Looking forward to next tues / weds Australian time!!

    P.S reallllly want to come to B-School so I hope to see you soon 🙂

  247. When I started my blog, I chose it’s name based on keyword research words, rather than any other criteria 🙂
    It has worked in my favour as I rank on the first page of Google for that keyword. I am now reconsidering naming the actual site with something else.
    Silly dillema – I am getting married this year, so might be changing my name 🙂
    I thought I would use a pseudo name – kinda like Green Smoothie Girl.
    Through my blog and being online, I kinda became known as Endo Angel and it describes what I do well. So, going with that for now.

    For me, this is an ever evolving thing. Fun creativity with our names is great!

    Thanks Marie for another fab video 🙂

  248. I am struggling with this! As you can see I’ve named my business/website ‘Healing By Rosie’ out of indecision and needing to get out there regardless.

    I would like to just use my full name as I am going to be expanding my business to include a lot of different products etc.

    BUT I don’t like my last name- I don’t resonate with it at all and it is meaningless to me (for various personal reasons). I have changed my facebook name and email name for my business to something quite unprofessional (last name ‘Youniverse’) and was wondering if anyone had any advice?

    Thanks ladies I really appreciate it!!! 🙂 xxx Rosie

    • I think the last name is too hard to spell, anyway, How about “Rosie Heals”, Rosie Y,

      • Mel

        Hi Rosie

        I would say keep it simple and just use your first name 🙂

        Rosie Heals
        Rosie Healing? (that way it can refer to both your own healing process and your role in aiding others’ healing).

        Keep brainstorming till you hit home! As one of my friends always tells me – “keep playing with titles and names until the right one pops up. You’ll know when it does.”

  249. Leanne Vellacott

    Thank you for a fab video. I sure have been struggle also as my name is just to long to remember. Be sides most people miss spell it with a B not a V Vellacott.
    So still trying to find something amazing!

  250. Wow, Marie, perfect timing!

    I’m in the middle of a re-branding and was just struggling with a me vs. the business dilemma today. You see, what I first started out, I wanted the business to be scalable. And I wanted to lead with the message that we give back. Philanthropy was top-of-mind for me when I started and I used it as a sales point. I named it Content for Do-Gooders. Content because I write and plan for and create content. Do-Gooders because we give back 10% of our profits.

    That said, now I’ve been in business for over two years and a whole lot has changed. First, I realized that I want to stay intentionally small. I always want to be close to and involved in the work. And, even more importantly, people know me and hire me because of me. The business name isn’t what is sticking in their minds. It’s my face, my writing, my articles around the web…

    I also realized that the philanthropy angle (while still super important to me for the business) isn’t what sells. It’s a nice way to filter clients a little. And it’s important to me to give back because I want to give back (and the reason I made it public was because I knew I would want to work with a company that made giving back a high priority). BUT, the clients I thought I would reach aren’t the clients I’m reaching. So, shifting my target and messaging accordingly.

    Anyway, all that long-winded stuff to ask a question: what do I do if I already have my name attached to something else? In addition to my writing/content strategy business, I also run a travel blog. I talk about travel, dog travel, living a life you life, and being an entrepreneur on the road. And the thing is doing really well. I’ve been getting lots of growth (and it makes me endlessly happy). I’m planning on feeding that passion into my larger business and possibly even merging the two in some fashion down the road. But the dilemma today is this: my travel blog has my…so do I change my business to also be my name, but have the URL be something different? Do I use my name on both with two different taglines?

    Sorry for the novel – anyone who has thoughts is welcome to chime in!

  251. Thanks for a great and timely video, Marie.

    I’ve spelled and pronounced and reminded people of my name a zillion times in my life (“no, not Jean, Deane, with a “D,” like the boy’s name, Dean, blah blah blah” and Giordano???? Nothing but blank stares in the South where I live), so naming my business after myself was not really an option. But of course, now you’ve got me thinking. Even though I’m happy with the name Bellalulu Yarn for my artisan yarn company, as I blog more and more, I can see myself veering more deeply into the writing that has always been my first creative love. In which case, I may just have to start considering a catchy (and pronounceable) nom de plume. I’ve always thought about changing my name, but it just seems so strange to have to tell all my friends and established contacts to start calling me something else. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with that.

    Thanks, again!

  252. I named my Etsy shop VITRINE because I’ve always been fascinated by showcases (or Vitrines in French) and what they contained. I liked the idea that my handmade jewels are worthy of being in someone’s showcase ie, read Jewelry box. And because they’re limited edition, it is even more special to have one 🙂

  253. Marie I was just having this discussion with another business owner. They went with a company name for their photography business while I went with my name as my brand. I agree with you about using your own name it creates one solid brand and allows you to branch off it for future endeavors. Thank you so much for your inspiring videos!

  254. Well, I took the easy way out and called my German company after what my hubby answers when he is asked what I do: “Irgendwas mit Internet” (= Something with the internet). People really like the name and the marketing specialists of a big company said, it is perfect from the customers point of view, becase they need to do “something with the internet”, too. 🙂 I didn’t want to include any “consulting” or “media” or “agency” to it, as I want to make it easy for small local business to come to me and not be afraid of all those technical things. My company slogan is actually: making complicated easy. 🙂

  255. Tam

    Oooh, the name game! I love naming things EXCEPT when it comes to my business.

    Having a last name that is tough to spell and practically unpronounceable to the average person made my given name one that I couldn’t use for a website.

    After stressing myself out for a long time I finally went with a name that has my true energy behind it and then went and picked a redirect URL that supports it and my other products, hence: and

    Now ask me to name a cat or my new computer, easy cheesy!

  256. Cristina O.

    Thank you so much for posting this video , it was exactly what i needed when i needed it! Perfect! However I am still struggling with what to name my fashion company. I aspire to create a fashion brand and i feel that my name is much to long and complicated. I would like the name to represent something, perhaps a fabric, season, clothing detail etc… by Cristina O..
    I would love to hear anyones thoughts…..

    • Here is my 2 cents. I really love ‘Cristina O” for the name. It is very artsie. I think it would look beautiful if you hired a calligrapher to create the logo. If you wanted the clothing detail, fabric, season, you could use that as the graphic next to the name for subheads in your shop. Example: if you had a denim line, you could have a fabric swatch of denim next to your name. The swatch could change with the seasons as well, but your Christina O would always be in the same font so the audience will visually remember your name/logo.

      • Cristina O.

        Thanks so much Rhonda, I appreciate your input tremendously!:)

    • Ditto to Rhonda’s comment! Cristina O is very cute and sounds in the realm of fashion as many popular brands are names or sound like names(Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Betsey Johnson, etc).

      • Cristina O.

        Thank you so much, Ashley for your feedback:)

  257. At first I wanted “Paper Seamstress,” for my paper goods shop, but that would have pigeonholed me. So I went with RhondasOriginals and I am happy with it because it is very general. I don’t think you should use your name if it is extremely hard to spell. People won’t find you on google due to misspellings. Before you choose your co. name, make sure the dot com domain name isn’t taken. I had to use .biz because mine was taken. Bummer.

  258. I can sympathize with all the hair-pulling naming drama, I’ve been through it several times.

    With one name, since my co-founder and I simply couldn’t agree and the small pool of friends were also divided, we did a Google Survey! 200 people, most of whom (I admit) chose his name:

    One great tool for looking up available urls is


  259. Hi Marie! Great episode 😀 Even though I’m a health coach, author, and speaker, I decided not to go with my name simply because i felt like a description of what my work is about would help to bring more focus for the new visitors who come to my site.

    So my site is and i show single women how to lose weight naturally and keep it off for good- so they gain more confidence as they understand the connection between food, love, and relationships. I figure even if I get married, I can still do the same work because my site is about practical tips for health and happiness tailored to YOUR single status – not MY single status 😉 I want my readers and my clients to understand that this is not about me, it’s about something greater than me – and i feel like using another name REALLY helps to make that clear.

    So there’s my two cents! haha. Thanks for all you do Marie! Love ya 🙂

  260. I originally thought about using my own as well, Marie. I took a week to ponder the HUGE decision. Ultimately, I chose to go with “Releasing Me Today.” I did this for two reason. Reason #1: I thought about the possibility of failure. Not anticipating it, but being realistic that it could happen. If it did, I certainly didn’t want that associated with my name. Just in case I desired to give it another swing later on in my career. Reason #2: When I started out I wasn’t really accepting of myself, and the journey was to reach that point of acceptance. Hence, “the releasing part.”

    I feel my choice was the right one for me. It also manifested itself in my life. No one can write “releasing me today” for two years straight and not have some type of change occur. 🙂 In that way, it worked out as a double bonus for me. I got a cool name and I spoke into my future. BooYAH! 😀

  261. I’m SO happy that I used The Uncaged Life as my biz name. It’s super recognizable, people remember it, and most importantly, is broad enough that it can encompass a LOT.

    And, I know that I can always change my mind (a-la-Danielle Laporte) 🙂

    • Girl, I absolutely agree withe everything you said in your comment! I didn’t use my name as my business name as well and I am SUPER happy with it and I also love how broad it is! <3 You go girl! And yes, Danielle changed from White Hot Truth pretty recently too!! xoxo

  262. I recently changed my business name. I had “outgrown” the old one and my name does not and has never resonated with me so using that was out. I struggled for a couple weeks. Then a wise person asked me, “what outcome do people receive as a result of utilizing your services?” I went into my heart space and listened for an answer to that question and then asked what would best describe that. I came up with a list, asked some key clients which resonated with them (after checking to see which domain names were available) and overwhelmingly, Whole Being, Inc. won. The interesting part isn’t what I just wrote about the process, it’s that I feel I can finally step into what I do fully and confidently with a deep sense of peace.

  263. Fabulous video Marie!

    There’s one thing I disagree with – albeit just a little.

    For over a decade, one of my businesses has been helping entrepreneurs brand and rebrand. We also work with helping businesses get repackaged to be command a higher price when selling. If you’re building a primarily web-based business, it can be incredibly difficult to both scale and sell under your own name versus under a different name.

    We have at least a handful of cases a week of entrepreneurs who want to rebrand away from their name because they want to free themselves more from their business. It’s not difficult to do this but it’s a lot easier if you make the right decision from the get go.

    Also, for those reading the comments – don’t base your choice of a business name on what domains are available. Check to see if a domain is in use or not. You may be able to buy a pre-registered domain for a small amount. Spending a few hundred dollars or more on getting the “right” domain to project the image you want can be one of the best investments you can make. I see many people starting up doing things like buying a domain on .co vs .com because it’s ‘available’ versus going for a quality name right off the bat. If you’ll be selling anything from a site, there’s a credibility factor here. Consider how often you personally make purchases from an unknown on a .co or other lesser TLD versus .com.

    • You make a very good point with your domain advice. Even large brands can have this issue. A few years back, re-branded themselves as “”. Reports showed them losing about over 60% of their site traffic to “”. Even though there are many domain options, .com is the best way to go when you can.

  264. I named my website organizemenow because i wanted there to be an “action” behind it. however once you get to my website its a little more “you” oriented “Organize My Life”. however, now that i have watched this video i am going to start adding my name to more things. thankfully i think so many topics fall underneath organization and time management like fitness, healthy eating etc etc.

  265. Hey Marie,
    Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this never came up earlier before, either. I wish it had.

    When I started my business, I went with the “name your business something catchy” train of thought. I wasn’t exactly clear on what I was doing, or who I was helping, but knew that I wanted to empower women to live their happiest life – and because “Happiness is Sexy,” I chose,

    Unfortunately, the “se*x” in “se*xy” was landing me in spam filters, and since I’ve gotten more clear on my “who, what and why,” I recently switched over to Own Your Confidence.

    This is a really tough one – and the video and information were great- as usual. Here’s another thought, though – what about choosing something with a keyword your ideal clients might search for when looking for your special brand of help?

    In my case, I talk to so many femmepreneurs who just aren’t clear on their value and why they have what it takes to help others – they lack confidence in what they “bring to the table.” Which is why I chose something with a keyword that someone might search for. The trouble being, most of those beautiful femmepreneurs don’t actually think of it as a lack of confidence – they think of it as more of a “I’ll start once I have my poop in a group,” or “I’ll do it after I get more training.” So it probably still wasn’t the best choice.

    I wish that I had even more information at the time I made the decision, because I would have focused more on the results, as opposed to the more ambiguous “confidence.”

    Here’s another thought if you’re wavering on a name. Take the pressure off of yourself – don’t buy a domain name yet. Set up a little free site using your name or a catchy name and just chill on it for awhile. All you really need, is just someplace you can send people to and then you can get found by networking and sending people there. Once you get some followers, then it’s not that big of a deal to just send people to a different site once you get clear on how you want to “brand” yourself.

    Just my thoughts.


  266. Kim

    Great topic, I struggled with a name a few years ago. I worked with the idea that the name should reflect what the business is about. At that time my idea for a business was to do with a niche market that is hard to serve.Finally, I went with the name that kept popping into my head when I thought of my own business. “Heritage Details” I have since given up on that niche market idea but I am continuing to make progress toward doing what I love and enjoy. I have wrestled with narrowing the focus of my business also.
    Life has put a variety of opportunities and challenges in my way over the years since I thought of pursuing my own business. I am finally closing in on getting really “serious” about promoting the business. I think the name still works, it has to, since it is incorporated now.
    After watching the 6 Pillars I had an aha about how to describe what I aspire to offer! “Home and Garden Renovations for More Impact with Less Maintenance.”My latest project will be used to promote this. A rebuild of a century home and property here in BC.
    Thank you Marie for all the great wisdom you share and promote!
    Happy Valentines!

  267. Hi Marie,
    Thanks so much for creating this helpful video! I really enjoy your videos because they are so REAL and Genuinely Put! *Very…one on one! Kudos 4U!!!
    I am a Home Stager, and my challenge was getting my prospective clients to understand and recognize the benefits of my services! TV shows and networks such as HGTV have introduced the concept & educated the public generically on What Home staging is, but unfortunately in my area (which is ironically NYC metro areas & Long Island NY)… “Staging” is not used as commonly as it should be yet! ….I’ve recently met so many home sellers that I have proudly introduced myself to as a “Home Stager” … and I still get that confused look as to “what is that???”
    *Naming my Company was a very difficult decision! …I had the BIG questions upon me about how I would or could name my company due to this awful confusion, and attract the right clients at the sametime! Also in order for me to do my Best work, I felt I needed to stay true to who I am! I originally googled my name and I found that it was such a popular name! I realized immediately that it would not be a wise option for me, until I added my middle initial C …then I came up first on the google search! This experimentation and addition paid off lovely because now I come up listed as Heather C Martinez, expert Home Stager, and “owner” of HCMdesigns!!! Since I am the proud owner of my brand, I felt my professional company name should have somekind of personal meaning to me! I have to say, I did spend a significant amount of time considering many other typical options that would of definitely be easily recognized & coincided with the Home Staging industry perfectly, but they all just seemed to feel so impersonal to me, even if they sounded possbily very catchy?
    So in the end of my beginning, I decided to stick with the name I signed all my artwork as a kid with… since I was about 8 years old! It just felt right! “HCMdesigns” …it captures & combines- me & my abilities! ***Making this decision wholeheartedly, I’ve learned that it’s one thing to be a beginner in a brand new industry and totally another to be recognized as an expert in your industry! I wanted my prospects to be able to associate me with my company and what I individually had to bring to the table! So with no regrets now, and I am so glad that I named my company the way I did, because it brands me, and enables me room to grow, explore, and improve upon my services in the future too!
    *Thanks so much for letting me share! I hope this video & all your blogs help All those Brave New business owners out there!!! 😉
    Best of luck to EVERYONE!!!

    Heather C Martinez
    Home Stager & Redesigner
    HSR Certified Professional
    Owner of HCMdesigns
    [email protected]

  268. The name of my company, A Little Indulgence, came to me in the shower. It never occurred to me to use my name. The idea to name the company based upon service versus product is a great idea.

    • Mel

      I love the name of your business, Tracy 🙂

      And showers are such a good place for birthing ideas!

  269. Hi all,

    Great video. I did struggle with this a year ago.
    I ended up naming my business The Wellness Project – a health/life coaching business.

    I guess I’d like to know, once it’s done, can you change it? Would it be really awkward to rebrand under my name at this stage? The business is only 2 years old, but I do see myself as the ‘product’…

    Would love some help on this!


    • Hey Claire! I love your name! I really do! I personally have my business name NOT under my name and love it because when people see/read my business name, they automatically get an idea of what I do. Were as when they read my name, they have not a clue.

      Just taking Nerd Fitness and Social Triggers for example. Enuff said 😀

      I have purchased a domain with my namelastname and will be redirecting it to my current site.

      Think about it, and follow your heart. <3 There is not right or wrong 🙂


      • Vicky, you are awesome. I just spent the last few days talking about this to everyone and we all came to the same point. RIGHT NOW, my biz name is the right one. So glad I did it.

        I’m adding my name to my logo so it reads “The Wellness Project with Claire Obeid” and will also purchase the URL for my name and redirect.

        LOVE that you took the time to answer and then chased me on twitter.

        Thanks so much for the encouragement!!!


  270. Clarie – I re-branded last year and my advice would be to do it now! The longer you wait, the more awkward it becomes. I waited another year after I decided, and pretty much lost that year of growth. If it’s something that you feel strongly about, now is better than later.

  271. As a matter of fact, it’s a very interesting question, but first I’d like to thank Marie for showing all us how to do online videos. Professional, stylish, sexy, classy and humorous. That’s the way to go.

    Now, as fo the topic of the post. I’ve actually investigated this issue for quite a while because I’m an SEO and I need to know my way around in some sort of things.

    Back in the day, it was beneficial to have your keyword in your domain name but it’s a non-issue now after one of the last Google algo updates.

    You may wanna click my name above to see my complete post as for the issue. Marie, is that OK to say so on your site? 🙂

  272. lol, if you have a good name that you like, use it. But I found I really like my website name; it brings me to fun, the child within, and I wonder where it will take me 🙂

  273. This gave me such clarity with something that I have always been unsure about- and now I know what I need to do. THANK YOU!

  274. I haven’t quite changed my business name yet but I will tomorrow. Right now my art business is called Arcane Arts which I have had for the past 5 years. I am an artist and an intuitive and I also want to host workshops. So as my business is changing so am I. The Arcane Arts name is limiting so I came to the conclusion to go with my name. I am glad I watched this because it confirmed my idea. I am changing the name tomorrow. Thank you for the push!

  275. Librada

    Hi! I have been thinking to change the name of my business for a while, but I’m not sure and it is keeping me from going forward. When I started this adventure, I decided to name my business “LiAngelSVic Jewelry.” I combined the initials of my whole family to hide a message within the name. The message was to empower myself for something I felt victimized. It sounded good, I included the people I love and it was a reminder that I could get up and go forward. One day my business counselor suggested that I give it a change because people had a hard time remembering and pronouncing it (other counselor also thought it would help). I wasn’t ready to change it; even though, I was aware of the difficulty that some people had with it. After giving it some thoughts, I decided that I wouldn’t change it and just separated it to: “Li AngelS Vic Jewelry.” It is still the same thing but I thought the word “AngelS” would help people remember; after looking at it from a more balance standing, I realized that the message, even though was empowering at the time, it has growing to be a message that takes me back to that episode of my life; I refuse to let that be the underlying message because I’m someone very different today. In addition to the emotional aspect of this decision, I realized that people do not necessarily separate it and they have difficulty finding me. Anyways, this made me think that I would like to change it to “LiAngelS,” I told myself that It would not change that much and it feels more in tune with my creations and my current state of mind. I don’t know if I want to depart with the word “AngelS” because I feel that making jewelry was the way of heaven to help me cope with the sadness I was feeling. Yet, I was still holding back on my decision and I told someone about my plans to change it and she replied: ” your name is perfect, what do you mean changing it?” she thought that the name of my business was my real name. Now I’m wondering if I should use my own name; I like my name but I worry about the impact it would have. I keep on thinking that by now people look me up as Li AngelS Vic, my business cards are printed, I’m questioning if having the word “ Angels” on the name helps me with the search engine, and so on. I have to make a decision and I made my deadline tomorrow. Perfect timing to check the e-mail and finding this video! I am writing to ask for help. I just can’t decide and it is overwhelming. Any thoughts? Thank you.

    • Librada

      I forgot to mention My name is Librada Vagnozzi.

  276. This is a great topic.

    Years ago, I started a niche blog, just for fun. Both the URL and the site title included my first name.

    Then the blog started making money.

    I had a business on my hands…a business that was (accidentally) named after me.

    It ended up working out — I’ve published a few ebooks, and it helps that the blog has established me as an expert within the niche — but, if I could do it all over again, I’d go back and choose a different URL and blog title. I’d go for something more memorable, with better keywords.

    I’ve since started other content sites/blogs. None of them include my name in the title/URL. 🙂

  277. Marie!!! Your stuff always rocks and is absolutely, always on target! Thank you for sharing your wisdom <3

    I started my business in mid 2012 and named it Small Business Gal. I absolutely LOVE the name and below are the things that I looked at that were very important to me.

    The business name had to:

    1. be a domain name with a .com

    2. have keywords of my industry and target market

    3. be sassy and catchy = expressing myself

    So before I came up with anything, I went to and searched up names that I had considered to see if any were available. I really didin't want a .net address, or something like this: small-business-gal.

    I felt that it was very important to have the keywords in my business name / domain. I have heard Pat Flynn say that sites with those specific keywords in the domain will rank higher in search engines.

    I didn't want to name my business something like Small Business Consulting (even though that's what I do) because it sounded too serious and didn't express my true identity. Also, the name gives me flexibility at what my services are to small businesses, and I truly value that.

    I hope that this helps some of you out. <3


    • Ngoc Khong

      Thank you Vicky for the insights. I agree with you that we shouldn’t name our businesses sth too serious and not expressing our true identity.

  278. Varinia

    This is the situation, i just quicked an stable, hateful job last week. The day I quicked I talked to a guy I met long before over web and tell him my situation, well he offered me writing content for him on a regular basis, the salary is short, BUT i loved it, although I spend ages writing (depends on the topic), I plan to do it faster. (the topics are generaly about tech, businesses that need to deal with daily content, I also do some translation)

    I actually did this before when I finished university and did not follow my parents advice about working for someone else, I felt I can do something better with my time. So, my fellow writer gave me an excellent idea! have my own team of writers and make money without having to write 50 articles per day on my own.

    My partner.. He is just amazing with me, we had excellent communication and laughs and told me he prefers doing business with me because I’m “realiable and funny”, that was great to hear. But I was sad for him because he does a job he loves but it seems clients are kind of shitty, he’s young and active. Well, he told me I can ask him wahever I want to know about the business. But I tell you the true, I don’t know what to ask him exactly! ha ha ha. or I should I say, I’m afraid to start with my content writing business. I have my profile in but I don’t know where to start to offer my job!
    I’d love to hear some advice about how to offer your services over the internent! flow-easy steps just to grow confidence!

  279. Kathleen

    Thanks, Marie. I’ve been watching your videos for a while and have found them to be very inspirational. However, I have not started a business yet and honestly I think that coming up with the name was the major struggle holding me back from starting. And it made me feel very silly to be struggling over something so basic for so long, but it can be REALLY hard.

    Luckily, your video cleared up the issue in five minutes flat! I realized that I needed to go with my name. My name will allow lots of flexibility. I just registered the domain.

    This could not have happened at a better time because I have just been laid off from my job. I’m choosing to be positive about it – after all, everything happens for a reason, and now is the perfect time to go after my dreams. I know that you have been a big influence on me. So thanks for all the help.

  280. Ngoc Khong

    This Q&A is awesome. Thank you Marie. A thought came to my mind when I finished the episode is that, oh I wish this Q&A had been released sooner! I was consider purchasing a domain two months ago and I chose my name. Just thought like this – Marie did it I can do it too (haha). Thank God this time I was lucky. I guess next time I should write you some Qs like Tamara did. So thank you Tamara for this awesome Q!

    P/S: Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you here! I love you guys.

  281. Emanuela

    Omg I love this!! I am currently struggling with my business name and have been for over a year! I had thought I wanted a “name”, but now I’m wondering if my name is a better idea…. YOu’re so right about driving my friends and family crazy about this… thanks for your tips Marie!

  282. LOL! I wish you had posted this video 1.5 years ago when I spent weeks wasting time on how to name my company and my brand. I spent hours brainstorming, researching, changing my mind, obsessing about it and driving everyone around me crazy.
    I finally picked one and chose the same name for my brand and company; now that I’m replicating my business into other distinctive target markets I realize that my company name should be different to allow for many brands to be housed under the same company. Oh well! I’m not sweating it this time.
    I know how to fix the legal name and have launched my personal brand as well as another brand that eventually could be sold to a third party.
    But I remember vividly the agony I went through the first time around.

    Thanks Marie & team for addressing this issue; as solopreneurs we tend to spin our wheels on every little detail of our business – and how to name the biz is a big deal! Your simple yet actionable advice is welcomed.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  283. I named my website and business The Girl Revolution because it was about empowering girls for many years.

    I am now rebranding as a life coach and I am also a writer and author. I don’t want to lose my google standing or the brand recognition that I’ve built with The Girl Revolution. However, I see your point in branding with my name, especially with the publishing angle.

    I’m currently rebranding now, with a website redesign, so this is the time to change it if I decide to.

    What would Marie do?

  284. Been battling with this up until a week ago. I started my business with my husband so we feel it made sense to stick with company name. I might be the spokesperson, but this is team effort and I don’t want to be in the spotlight alone.

  285. Wow…still stuggling over this one…everything just fizzeled for me last year and I don’t know it I can get it back or if I want it back?
    Anyhow…I started my first retail store-front in a vendor stall rental situation with over 400 renters (Blacklion, Charlotte, NC) and named it “con-tain-it” which represented all the items I sold in the space for organizing your life. Long story short…my day job as a controller was transfered and I had a daily two hour commute which left no additional time for my store front. I don’t regret it because it was the perfect way for me to decide that I did not like retail…it became more of a “holiday” sale-a-thon which pulled me away from the creative side of helping people get organized and have fun with it. So I decided to run an on-line-store/blog and continuted with the name “con-tain’it”. NEXT hurdle…I was downsized and out of a job a year later and my blog became more about simplifying our lives and selling and downsizing our homes from 3,800 sq.ft to a 1,400 sq.ft. apartment and finally into a 687 sq.ft. home that we affectionately called “The Love Shack”. So I changed the blog and expanded the subject to include: organizing/storage, food/recipes, artwork, charity and life in general. I hired a graphics designer for the new blog headers, locked in the site domain and hired a “professional coach” to help me figure it all out. LONG STORE short…it was a miserable experience and it took all the fun out of it and never helped me clarify who my market was or how I could make money. It left me feeling fake and all’s I did was compare myself to the other successful bloggers. So I’m a little hesitant to say the least…but I’m also frustrated and depressed that I lost myself and my vision in the process.
    Can any one else relate?

    Fast forward four years later and

  286. after reading all of these comments i think i am going to change my web address for my website. however, if i make the change i am going to go ahead and buy the .com version.

    Question: what website host are you guys using? are you happy? i really only want to change this once!

    • Hi Heather,

      Bluehost is the best one I’ve found, by far. I’ve been with them for two years, and just signed on for three more years! They have amazing 24-7 US-based customer service & tech support, plus tons of other perks.

      • I agree with Barbara. I don’t currently use Bluehost but I have in the past. The only reason I switched was becasue I have an SBI site which I love but it cost $300 a year. Not just for hosting, it has A LOT of added features that I use to build my site/business but if you’re just looking for hosting, then Bluehost is great.

  287. Natalie

    Oh my gosh, I battled back and forth with this for too long! I ended up naming my blog BreastCancerDefense because I was trying to target the right people (I have an ebook that is about to launch). Now I feel cornered and wish I would have used my own name. I am a dietitian and have ideas for several other products and services, so I think I may have to create a new site.

  288. For me, the decision was more agonizing over what to name my business, rather than whether to name it after myself or not. I’ve never been very fond of my name, and I’m young and single, so there’s always the thought in the back of my mind of what I would do if I got married, would I fret over changing the name of my business or leave it as my maiden name.

    The one I eventually chose, Sweet Dreamz Design, is absolutely a perfect fit for me and the small biz entrepreneurs I serve. “Sweet” is one of top things people say when describing my personality, plus passionate women entrepreneurs tend to have sweet dreams of success! Top it all off with the “z”, which came about because sweetdreamsdesign was not available in a .com domain, and Sweet Dreamz Design describes my business so much better than my own name ever could.

  289. I think this is a really helpful Q & A.
    After buying 3 different domains with names that resembled my changing visions, I have finally bought my name, with the realization that I am my business and brand, and once that clarity hit me, I finally bought my name. I feel I also was hiding behind other names before, as opposed to just saying, yes, my brand is me 🙂

    • I hear you Tova. You do kind of feel hidden behind your site when you don’t brand it with your name.

      I’m considering switching my site to my name too.

      Best of luck to you,

  290. I spent hours and hours deliberating about what to call my company and kept coming back to my name. I listened to lots of people telling me it was a bit egotistical using my name but I knew that I had big plans long term and didn’t want to force myself into a niche that might not work for me further down the line. I also noticed that more and more female entrepreneurs were using their own name so that kind of sealed it for me. Hence was born 🙂 Thanks so much for the video, it had become such a stumbling block for me and this just cements for me that I made the right choice 🙂

    • Ruby, you are so right. The more I read that it sometimes makes more sense to use your name as the brand the less ‘conceited’ I feel by doing so! Yay for!

      • Shandra, you made me laugh out loud with your comment, thank you!!!

  291. Thanks Marie.

    But now I have another question.

    I have a website right now that I’ve had for a few years now about self esteem building. And that’s what it’s named but thankfully when I was in the mood for buying domain names, I also bought

    So I own it now and can start using it anytime I want. And after watching this video with your points on how to decide what to use, I should use

    But now what do I do with all the work and traffic I have on Do I link it over to or do I take care of both?

    I don’t know.


    • Michelle,

      i am actually in the process of doing this right now. I am going to to put on the front page of my existing website “this site has been upgraded to” so they an click right over.

      i’m not super tech-y so i can’t tell you how to transfer your content – i am honestly just going to re-build mine, but maybe that will give you a chance for a fresh look 🙂

    • Hi Michelle! Use a 301 redirect on your old domain to This will make sure you don’t lose link juice. Your hosting company should be able to tell you how to do that once your site is moved over.

    • Thank you for your help ladies. I love my self esteem site that I have hosted through SBI but like so many others here, have found that I can go much wider with and brand it better.

      I am seriously considering B-School. I’m going to enter the scholarship contest she’s offering with the video. Hope to win. But if I don’t, I’m still going to join.

      I should be able to make the final decision for my sites then. 🙂

  292. Oh, this was SUCH a perfect video. I shared some of the same issues that other readers described. I delayed even starting my business because I couldn’t decide on using my name or a business name. I have changed my logo three times already because it still just doesn’t seem ‘right’. Aaarrgh! I hear you ladies when you say the decision that gets shared continues to change based on every else’s opinion on what they perceive your business to be. Even worse is that I wanted the name SO bad and dot com was taken so I have dot net. Aaargh! Even though I am a Wellness Coach with a broad background in many complementary modalities, there is so much MORE to me/my future brand that I hadn’t anticipated when I first decided on a name. Luckily my fear allowed me to go ahead and purchase a domain in my personal name dot com and I can easily direct when needed. Now I am wondering if I should even have a logo (another source of frustration) or keep the logo, and redirect everything to my name dot com. Any ideas or suggestions?

    Thank you Marie for another relevant and inspiring video post!

  293. Funmi Okunbolade

    For practical reasons, namely my name is unusual and difficult for people to spell or pronounce, I chose to come up with a different name for my company. That being said, it was hard to come up with a name primarily because I wasn’t clear on what my services would be. Once I got hyper focused on that, the name literally came to me like a flash of lightening. I like the name I’ve chosen and it leaves me enough room to allow my services to evolve as needed.

  294. Hi Marie,

    What a great question and answer. I was going forwards and backwords with this same question for many months and decided to name my business my full name which is “Damayanthi Jayasinghe” because I wanted to be known as “me” for my coaching business.

    Then people come up to me to say that it is too long, people will not remember how to spell, which made me spend more time thinking, researching etc. Anyway my gut feeling was to go for my name. So, I settled with that.

  295. I hear you on being stuck on what is really a simple task. Our minds find ways of limiting us and helping us focus on our fears. I was so scared of starting my own blog and clothing line, I was so frustrated that one day I just decided to wing it and now I am in the process and feel good about it. Although I am still scared but I know I have to do it if I want to reach my next level of happiness. So I say let’s find that business name and move up the later because we can’t take the elevator to success!

  296. Sharon 'Shazz' Nembhard

    You know Marie, what is sad for me, is while I was strongly influenced by listening to so many of your videos since I signed up in January (in particular regarding building my website), that I should use my own name; I have sadly discovered that it is so common, down to my middle name that I don’t think I will gain any distinction using it. So I will be creating a pseudonym and still take your advise to ensure it will cover all the elements I will want it to become an umbrella for. Thanks.

  297. I developed my business and now it is making over 12,000.00 USD each month.

    Thank you all !

  298. Ok- domain issue here! Please help! My name is not available, neither is What do y’all think about Does the dash throw everything off or is it ok? Thanks to u guys I have contacted BlueHost and they are helping me set up a great site with great features on my limited budget! Thanks!

    • Maybe you could try or or

  299. Such a great question. Something we’ve all struggled with for sure. Thank you very much for the video.

  300. I loved that you tackled this because it’s something I’ve been asking myself this past year. & I know now I can ask Marie Forleo anything for next time.

  301. Megan

    What if your name isn’t…catchy? As in 12 letters long and ending in “ski.” Any ideas?

  302. I Love this article! I wish I had read it when I started. I struggled between a stuffy financial name and a name that POPPED! I started with the stuffy name but didn’t like it so much so i changed it to my current name and I love it. When people see it they ask so what do you do?

  303. Jo

    When I started my business I did not use my name, but as soon as I got started I instinctively new it just didn’t feel right. I was devastated as I’d invested in creating the brand. I shared my vision with a friend who happened to be a branding specialist, and he agreed that I needed to re-brand using my name. AND I was so lucky, he offered to create it for free as he knew I’d already spent my budget. I feel changing has opened the opportunity for me to do so much more than I first thought.

  304. Hi, Marie. Thanks for the video, and for all that you do to empower women.

    I have a question – I launched my photo biz as my name in 2005. Now I’m about to launch another biz, which I’ll also be the center of. It’s quite different from my current biz. Would it be weird if old photo clients arrived to my site one day and it were something else entirely? Or, should I take advantage of the existing fans of my work, and hope the new endeavor appeals to them, too?

    Thanks, again!

  305. I love this concept. I’m on the cusp of making this decision. Swapping from blog name to my actual name… It’s a biggie! I think it gives me freedom to roll all my interests, offerings, articles, ebooks and programs under the one banner. Now just to work up the courage to do it.

  306. Great topic, thank you Marie for covering it. I had this conversation with a woman who I am working with, just the other day. I am working on her website, and she is nearly ready to launch her business but hasn’t bought the domain yet because she doesn’t know what to call her business. I am going to suggest we buy her name (if it’s available) and then she can come up with a business name.

    When I was starting my Virtual Assistant business I struggled for a minute. I wanted something catchy and creative. In the end, I went with intuition… and my name. I think it’s pretty catchy. JenSheaVA Easy!

    Jen 🙂

  307. So this was an interesting topic. It seems like a simple question and simple decision, but as I reflected on how I got my own website name:, I realized that I too went through a whole process of trying out different names, checking domains, and seeing what felt right. At first I wanted “funeral advisor” because I was building a website like TripAdvisor but for the funeral industry. However, that domain name was taken as well as my other top-5 names. It was difficult to identify the proper name due to the content on the website. I didn’t want it to be too generic or insensitive. In the end, I followed my gut and found a name that I really liked and evoked the empathy/sensitivity I was looking for. Now my main challenge is getting search engines to pick up my domain when someone searches for websites related to funerals. Because the word “funeral” isn’t in the domain name, it is harder for search engines like Google to make that association. That was a lesson learned for me, and something for others to consider. With that being said, I still wouldn’t change the name despite this challenge.

  308. That’s a big deal!

    For the moment I bought and domains, but I struggled to choose them!

    I use mind-mapping to express my message and content of the projects and then a wrote a lot of name and the best combination won.

    In the future I will think about have my name in the domain too and leave the other for each projects.

    Enjoy your decisions! 🙂

  309. Brittany Poast

    This Q&A Tuesday really resonated with me; I have tortured myself about this as well. Amazing how this one thing can freeze you & halt your progress. It’s like trying to write the first sentence of a paper – getting started is always the hardest. Ironically, if you try to write the rest of the paper and save the introduction for the end, it inevitably writes itself! Sometimes going through the process allows your business name to reveal itself, rather than sitting in frustration trying to come up with it. Thanks Marie, wonderful Q&A as always!

    • Brittany, you are so right! I like how you describe the process itself helps create the name/brand. I have always been a ‘details’ person and get so hung up on them sometimes that I miss the ‘big picture’, so to speak. Having all you ladies tell your stories really helps me feel a little better about my struggles because everyone has similar issues with the same things. Although I usually go with my gut/intuition, I definitely second guess myself in the marketing aspect, as that is where I have next to no training..

      Thanks for you insight!

  310. Oby

    Great information as always. I recently started a blog, but I did make sure that the domain name was available, so I purchased it. I also recently started a small business under the same name. But now, 3 months later, every where I look on google, or facebook, someone has a blog, or a post with my blog name. I plan on making this a house hold name via products. So what do I do?. I am kinda down about it ):

  311. Shannon

    Hi there,

    I’m about to build a new website and start from scratch. I know I want to use my name for my website, but it is already taken (all versions of it). Shannon Brown is unfortunately pretty common!

    Any suggestions??

    Thanks 🙂


  312. Jackie Mendoza

    Great video, thanks for sharing Marie. Sheer inspiration drove me to name my consultancy six years ago. I was launching as a consultant to the not-for-profit sector. I wanted to reflect two things a) that I was focused on not-for-profit = Cause and b) that my solutions could bring about great results = Perfect and so Cause Perfect was launched :o) Nowadays, however, I’m focusing on building a coaching practice. Again I wondered what to name it but opted for my name and having seen your video, am now relieved that I did!

  313. I thought the same!
    And the more I build my own websites, the more I appreciate this gorgeous website. It’s full of attention to content and web-marketing details and the design is so colourful and balanced.

  314. I’ve never struggled coming up with a name, but I find that I’m moving away from the old names and towards my own name in the future.

  315. Love this Marie!

    Right now, I am focusing on my new passions which are bringing health information, recipes and real-life inspirations to a community through my blog
    The name is generic and open for different topics – which is great, but I want to identify more with recipe creation and food photography now. I have been thinking of opening up something that would separate the two, (not switching, but running two sites) But that idea seems overwhelming to try and do two things. So I feel a little stuck. I still need to sleep on this…

    What I have noticed however, is that all you *successful* gals, you Marie 😉 and Kris Carr and others started with a branded site with a name that represents them (not your own name), and then as your success grew – the fame and fortune and confidence moved you to a direction where you opened up your own site under you own name.

    This is a pattern I’m seeing with Marie, Kris Carr, Chris Guillebeau etc….

    I think using your own name is a huge confidence boost. Not many of us have it when we start a mommy blog or fashion or crafting blog… but over time our confidence boosts and we could go that route – if the name works and is available that is.

    It really all goes back to that gut feeling, doesn’t it.

    As always, I loved the video Marie and loved all the comments ;))

  316. Monica

    I was just thinking about this, a new name for a new business I am planning, and yes, the use of my name seems like a good idea, but, guess what…. My name IS ALREADY TAKEN!!! can you believe that!! I´m afraid I´ll have to keep on looking for ideas…..

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  318. liane

    So… follow up question – I think it makes sense to name my business something that indicates what the business does (in other words, NOT my name)… when I start twitter account and FB page, should I keep the business name or make it more personal and use my name??

    Great conversations!

  319. Jeff Celentano

    Here there, Marie. So, how’s this as an example that there’s no such thing as “coincidence” in the universe? I’ve been studying internet and attraction marketing for about 7 years now. Mostly in the network marketing niche. Up until about 2 hours ago, I’d never heard of you before in my life. Just so happens that I’m looking to have a new blog designed and I’m talking with someone from the company that apparently designed your site when they directed me here to check out the design. I gotta tell ya, I’ve seen and heard ALL of the gurus out there and even know a few of them personally but I’ve NEVER been as drawn to someone’s message as I have to yours. In the first 10 minutes visiting your site, your articles and videos on “How to Name Your Business” and “Should You Combine Your Many Passions or Just Chose One?” gave me more clarity and focus than ANYTHING I’ve seen or read online in a loooong time. Very glad I “stumbled” upon your site. You’ve got a new dedicated follower. Sorry, I’m a dude. Hope it’s still okay to hang with the cool chicks! Great content!

  320. I put a loooot of thought and effort into my business name. I run a coaching business and at first I had no idea what I wanted to call it, but then I decided I wanted it to sound powerful and fun. I wanted something that sounded kind of like “coaching”, but with a powerful edge, like “ka-paow!” or something. Then one day I just got it! Katching! Coaching – and that has been my business name ever since. It’s a great name since it works internationally, and people always ask about it. In Sweden we have an expression that says that “the token fell down” when you understand something, so I say that Katching! is the sound of “the token falling down” – or you having a realization – during a coaching session. That creates a short conversation about the business name and what I do, which usually includes the word Katching! 3-7 times, so people never forget it. 😉

    After watching this video I realize I want to brand my business more around myself in the future but for now, it’s all about Katching!

  321. Hi Marie, thank you for this video about choosing the business name. In fact I still struggle with the name I choose 5 years ago. send2smiles. I have the “dream” to give back 10% of my profits to people in need, but the truth is – I donate one child via World Vision with $35 a month which is even over the 10% I am making. haha …. you see not quite a business, yet. The other problem is, that people read it as send2smile and don’t understand the 2nd smile for the person in need. I am proud of at least improving one little girls life through World Vision, but I don’t know how to incorporate that into my internet page/business model right now. I am also not a native speaker and after being in the States for 5 years I am afraid send2smiles is to cheesy and friends are always polite enough to like it. I keep on telling myself, that the business name won’t decide about if this works out or not. I saw that you give back, too. You made it happen! That’s awesome!
    Thanks for reading.

    Gerda with Send2smiles 😉

  322. Jenn

    You could register both domains (your name and the name of your book), have them both directed to your website, your to your first page and your to your book page…

  323. Awesome video Marie! When I set up my website / business, I wasn’t sure how many different strings I would have to my bow. So, I decided to use my own name.It’s worked out pretty well so far. The cool thing is that as my business morphs and changes my business name doesn’t have to 🙂 Your videos are so uplifting and informative, I love tuning in each week! Thank you!

    Claire x

  324. Well, I use my name for my acting page, but for my coaching and therapy business focused on women, I decided to used Sexy, Sassy, and Soulful. I want to make an impact in women’s lives by encouraging self-love, self-acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness. I’ve also set as my goal to write a book based on my vision, too. The only thing is…now I feel my business email page is so long! Maybe switch it back to just [email protected]? Thanks so much, Marie, for all your amazing information! I’ve learned so much already. Evie

  325. Mike Hall

    Love this topic. Just getting into the online world and looking at website names. Unfortunately my name is taken and different combinations. And with my wife’s name Claudia the simple combinations are taken. Since my name is so common for years I’ve used MikeHa77 as my email, Facebook, twitter, etc. should I go with that or not? (Take Mike HaLL, turn the LLs yo side down and you get ha77)

    Really appreciate any comments.

  326. I personally like to use my own name as a brand for my business. In some cases with some popular names might be a bit difficult but I got lucky as my name is unique 🙂